Task & Finish Group – final recommendations



Research how other local authorities have successfully increased the delivery of affordable housing (directly and indirectly) within their boundaries and identify best practice and look at the successful establishment of community land trusts in rural areas and how these have been achieved. This policy research piece should stay focused on identifying practical and implementable solutions in the South Hams context, working within the framework of the housing thematic delivery plan (Better Lives for All) and wider housing strategy.



·         That the Task & Finish Group recommend to the Executive, that officersexplore the formation of a Strategic Partnership with a Housing Association (or Housing Associations) and other partners to deliver affordable rented housing through schemes recognised nationally as best practice with such partnership(s) to include the location of suitable sites within the district.


·         Officers explore the setting up of a Community Land Trust modelled on the Cornwall Community Land Trust; including the possibility of working with other Devon local authorities in its formation.


·         That the Task and Finish group recognises that the Council continues to consider the best practice and lessons learned from successful community schemes. Ensuring any direct or registered provider development on exception sites truly involves the community in design, type and tenure wherever possible, and that the Council continues to support and invest in community land trusts. 

Best practice examples

Members of the Task & Finish group researched national best practice where a range of projects were found. Members then refined this into a list where they selected a scheme from a similar area to us, with a view to learning from the project and identifying how challenges in delivery were overcome.



Land purchased or council owned


Year built

Funding levers

Best practice

Officer comments

Cllr O’Callaghan

Ruan Minor

6 properties to rent


South Devon Rural


Cathedral Builders/ Trewin designs

HE, Cornwall Council, SDR

(Cornwall have a CLT revolving loan scheme)

Strong community consultation


Excellent energy efficiency


Wildlife enhancements


Rents capped at LHA


Local Connection criteria



Cornwall CLT had a loan facility with Cornwall Council of £4mill total, limited to £1.5mil per project.  Money can be recycled once funding is achieved.


Officers will be setting up a member session with South Devon Rural (SDRHA) to discuss the aspirations of the housing association.  This follows the appointment of their new chief exec, managing director and Community Land Trust advisor.


The council has achieved good outcomes with SDRHA in the past.  Recent examples are Supported Housing and general needs housing at Brimhay Gardens Dartington and Morleigh Heights.


Cllr Birch

Wilkins Way, Ilmington Warwickshire

10 AH

4 Open market

Warwickshire County Council

Warwickshire Rural Housing Association


Linwood Homes





HCA (now HE)


Open market sales


HA borrowing

Strong community consultation (including selection of materials)


Partnership approach


Innovative use of funding and profit sharing


Strong design code


Excellent energy efficiency



This type of delivery is typical which follows the policy approach as set out in the Joint Local Plan (JLP and the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). 


The council (SHDC) requires 30% affordable housing, there is always encouragement to developers and housing associations to consult with the community.  This is a developer led scheme but delivers a small amount of affordable housing.


Whilst this is not an exemplar delivery mechanism of affordable housing. there are other examples of best practice with community consultation, design and energy efficiency which warrants its inclusion in this set of best practice.

Cllr Reeve

Tuckers Close

Mark, Somerset

12 AH mixed size development for affordable rent







Mixed development provides opportunities for people to remain in village as circumstances change




Affordable Housing providers are keen to bring forward 100% affordable schemes, the issue is finding land.  SHDC has delivered a number of these schemes.  Changes in funding and in the JLP means that 100% affordable is challenging as an amount of open market is needed in most circumstances to cross subsidise. 

Cllr Smerdon

Christow CLT

13 mixed size AH for rent. 4 OM (with local restriction)

Gifted by Teignbridge DC

Teign Housing

Mitchell Architects



Passivhaus design


Energy efficiencies


Design code


Won Excellence in planning delivery 2017

The Village Housing Initiative (VHI) was the delivery vehicle at both Reeves Way in Churchstow and Garden Close in Rattery.  The scheme at Christow are Passivhaus but the cost of this is challenging, however, if possible, should be the ambition. Housing standards are generally as energy efficient as possible through housing associations.

Cllr Mckay

Dadson Court

Smarden Kent

12 AH Rent & SO


English Rural Housing Association


HCA (now HE)


Borough Council

Parish Council

3rd sector


High energy efficiency to minimise running costs for tenants


Delivered without open market cross subsidy


Social Return on investment model


Mixed size development


Used rural exception site process


Local Connection criteria


The same comments apply to the Affordable scheme in Mark. 


The social return on investment apart from local connection to the area is unclear. SHDC already does this in all schemes in our rural areas and the Local Allocations Policy prioritises those in housing need who are local to a parish further supporting affordable housing for the district.

Cllr Sweett

Trecaerus Farm, Padstow Cornwall

55 homes (tenure not given)

Land purchased by Cornwall council

Cornwall Council

2022 (not yet occupied)

Poltair homes

Grants unknown


Open market subsidy




Best Practice communalities

·         Partnership approach with Communities, Council and RP is key

·         Strong local connection criteria produce strong community buy in

·         Mixed size development is important with the Community being involved in the type and tenure of property

·         High energy efficiency and low running costs for tenants

·         Rents in line with the local area (affordable, social or LHA)