The village of Bratton Fleming in North Devon lies just to the west of Exmoor National Park and is the first location to benefit from North Devon District Council's new local lettings policy. Fifteen affordable homes have been built on land owned by the Council: 11 rented properties together with 4 houses sold for shared ownership. The idea is to help those people with strong connections with the village but maybe not yet starting a family to stay in the area rather than casting the net too wide. All very admirable and it will be interesting to see if NDDC come up with some more schemes of a similar type.
One downside is the fact that the council have used former allotment land for this exercise although it's possible that the locals aren't into allotments; I don't know one way or the other on this I must admit.
We can expect the subject of housing to be a big, big issue in the months ahead in both national and local government. I've noticed that neither of the two main parties are prepared to mention second homes, something very relevant to Devon and Cornwall. The fact is that it is a tricky matter for them as they are conscious that they might upset 'Middle England', a similar problem occurs regarding any proliferation in the number of greenfield sites used for new houses.
The next 12 months promise to give Gordon Brown an extremely bumpy ride, resolving the housing crisis with higher cost of living and more repossessions added to the mix is just one of the headaches he will have.