Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Housing help at Rock and East Portlemouth

Following my last entry it's worth recording that there's more help for locals in need of a roof over their head, this time at Rock on the east side of the Camel estuary in North Cornwall and at East Portlemouth deep in the south of Devon.

These two settlements are the last places in my two counties where you might expect local people to have any measure of success in finding a home but I'm glad to say that there is some good news for them.

First of all, Rock. With the help of local and parish councils a project is being undertaken by the St Minver Community Land Trust. They have bought land at Penmayne Farm, just inland from highly expensive Rock, for 12 self build bungalows. All the homes had to be affordable as a condition of planning permission; construction has started and the 12 families who will be living in them all have local connections. An interesting aside is that revenue accruing to North Cornwall District from the council tax for second homes is being used in order to pay for infrastructure at the site.

Now over to East Portlemouth, the small village that one sees across the harbour from Salcombe. Again very expensive and I think with 70% plus second homes. The Waterhouse family have lived there for decades and pensioner Isobel Waterhouse who inherited four cottages there could easily have sold them on for a good deal of money. But she has adopted a different course and has formed a trust to ensure that they can be rented out at reasonable rates to locals. A brother of mine phoned to say that this particular story had featured in 'The Independent'! As my brothers and I spent our early years in Salcombe then happenings in that area have a special significance.

As someone who doesn't want any village to become the preserve of the second home owning mega rich I have to say that I'm heartened by these reports.

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