Planning approved for affordable homes in Appledore

A community trust set up by three local villagers is to build nine new affordable homes in Appledore, North Devon, after being given the go-ahead by Torridge District Council.

The scheme will be built by ethical housing developer Aster Group in partnership with the non-profit community group Appledore Community Land Trust (CLT).

The development will see two one-bed flats and seven two- and three-bedroom houses built for affordable rent. These will be offered to local families and residents who qualify for affordable housing.

Appledore Community Land Trust - set up in 2009 to oversee the provision of affordable homes in the community - bought the piece of former scrubland in the village just off The Mount, overlooking the estuary, in 2010.

Initial plans to build 12 homes on the steep and rocky site fell through due to escalating costs. However, working closely with Torridge District Council and the Wessex Community Land Trust, the CLT developed a simplified scheme for nine affordable homes.

The land will remain the property of Appledore CLT, continuing to be available for affordable housing for local residents, with any income generated reinvested back into the community. Following the homes’ completion Aster will maintain and manage the tenancies.

Andrew Eastman, chairman of Appledore Community Land Trust, said: “As an historic sea port in North Devon, Appledore has long attracted visitors keen to see its narrow streets and thriving, historical quayside. However, over the years, more and more holidaymakers have bought homes, leading to 42% of properties owned by non-permanent villagers.”

Amanda Williams, group development director at Aster Group, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for locals, particularly young people, to secure a home in their village at a rent they can afford.

“Community-led projects like this are a great way for villagers to invest in their local area, redevelop under-used land and secure much-needed affordable housing for the long-term future of their community.

“As part of our commitments through the Aster Foundation, our corporate social responsibility initiative set up to benefit society, we aim to support a number of rural schemes each year to ensure the long term future of our smallest towns and villages.”