Self-build development in Cornwall

Charlotte charlotte at
Tue Sep 30 12:34:17 BST 2008

Western Morning News
£300,000 homes at just £80,000
Saturday, September 27, 2008

MEMBERS of a Westcountry community have beaten the affordable housing crisis
by building their own homes – at less than a third of their market value and
close to the region's most exclusive enclave.

For years, property ownership has been a pipe-dream for many local people in
St Minver, near Rock, the North Cornwall coastal playground of the rich,
famous and future kings.

Undeterred by living in the shadow of so-called millionaire's row, a
collective of local people – including a surf shop worker, legal secretary
and farmer – joined forces to self-build 12 homes.

The properties, two- and three-bedroom bungalows, have been ring-fenced for
local residents in perpetuity. The cheapest property costs about £80,000 –
less than a third of its current market valuation of £290,000.

With the roofs now complete, it has been announced that the builder-buyers –
24 adults and their children – are expected to move in before Christmas.

St Minver Community Land Trust, the not-for-profit organisation behind the
innovative scheme, is now planning another low-cost development and hopes it
has created a model for other communities to follow across the Westcountry.

"This shows that if local people take a hands-on approach, they can make
things happen," said the trust's Helen Richards, a legal secretary who has
lived in St Minver since the 1970s.


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