Talk of ‘affordable homes for local people’ can rumble on in communities for years when there appear to be no suitable sites, there are doubts about what might get built, or there is outright opposition to development. CLTs succeed by providing leadership, local knowledge, drive, scrutiny, commitment and, ultimately, a vehicle for safeguarding community assets. The role of support services like Wessex is to enable these qualities to be channeled as effectively as possible; firstly into housing projects and then into other projects such as a shop (Norton), post office (Toller) and workspace (Chagford). Our role is also to help CLTs defray the development risks they prefer not to take, primarily through the support of Aster, Hastoe, Teign and Yarlington, our housing association partners.
A major recent breakthrough has been by Lyme Regis CLT where, after over a decade of searching, a site has been secured and planning permission obtained. Pictured below are representatives of the CLT, the Town Council, Yarlington, Wessex and local people in need of housing, all of whom spoke at the planning committee meeting, persuading members to over-turn a recommendation for refusal (on landscape grounds).