Housing is an issue everywhere in Cornwall, not just in the coastal towns with high levels of second homes.  One small community group in mid Cornwall are exploring the possibilities of doing something to tackle the problem.  Over the next month Treverbyn Community Trust are holding a community consultation to find out more about what local people want from a home and whether they will support a small community owned, zero carbon home building project in their parish.

Sara Marsh, Manager at The Hall explained “Last year we found out about the community in Millbrook who came together to raise money to bring an old building into community use, with the two flats on the first floor not only providing affordable housing for local people but the surplus income generated covers the running costs of the community facilities.  This just seemed like a really sensible idea, where everyone wins – more affordable homes for local people, the money stays in the community and supports facilities that the whole community can benefit from.   This led to us to thinking about how this might happen in Treverbyn.  Several years ago the charity was gifted some land, an old back filled clay pit, and with housing already existing along two of its boundaries, it raised the question ‘what if?’”

Sara went on to say “For the past 8 weeks a small steering group of local residents and interested people have been getting together to share their thoughts and start to create a vision for this space.  It is this that we are now sharing with the wider community, asking for their thoughts and getting a better understanding as to how much the local community are willing to get behind the idea.    The overall aspiration is to create a small number of houses, and possibly some small work units, that remain a community asset in perpetuity, provide good quality, zero carbon homes for local people and also bring benefits to the wider community too.”

Alex Templeton from UK Community Works added “I’m delighted to be working with Treverbyn residents on this idea.  This is a fascinating opportunity for a community to tackle one of the big issues that it faces in a lack of decent quality affordable rental housing.  I’m really excited about the possibility of helping to build some zero carbon homes for Treverbyn, that are not just affordable to rent but also affordable to live in.  Historically the cost of technologies would have meant that this level of build would have been unachievable as an affordable property but things are changing and Modern Methods of Construction offer a real solution.  This is an opportunity for Treverbyn to create something unique, something that other communities will look at and say “we want that too”.”

This work is being supported by a grant from Homes England’s Community Housing Fund Programme and is enabling Treverbyn Community Trust to access the expertise of UK Community Works, Cornwall Green Gold and Cornwall Community Land Trust, all of whom have very credible track records of supporting communities in community led housing and renewable technologies.

People can find out more about the Trust’s ideas by popping into reception any week day from 9am – 5pm or until 7pm on Mondays & WednesdaysAn open evening will also take place on the 25th March at 7:30pm to enable people to find out more and become more involved .  If you can’t make it to the Hall you can still contribute – simply email info@thehall.org.uk to request more information and your copy of the questionnaire.