Broadhempston's affordable 'eco-homes' self-build starts

image copyrightBroadhempston Community Land Trust
image captionThe team includes a physiotherapist, shop manager and teaching assistant

A group of Devon villagers have started building their own affordable "eco-homes".

Six detached houses with three or four bedrooms are being built in Broadhempston, near Totnes, by local families and couples.

The Broadhempston Community Land Trust was set up four years ago to enable local residents in need of housing to self-build affordable homes.

The properties will be heated with sun rooms and will be insulated with straw.

The scheme was only open to couples and families renting within a two-mile radius who had local ties to the village.

Mother-of-two Serena Bedford said she decided to get involved with the scheme because of difficulty getting on to the property ladder.

"Housing in Broadhempston is ridiculously expensive, there is no way you can afford to buy doing an everyday job," she said.

image copyrightBroadhempston Community Land Trust
image captionThere will be six detached eco-houses
image copyrightBroadhempston Community Land Trust
image captionEco-friendly materials will be used in the build

A £900,000 loan was taken for the project which is expected to be completed by the end of September 2015.

The trust will own the freehold on the land and 25% of the value of the houses, which it hopes will always make them affordable and available to local people.

Two of the team members have given up their jobs to devote their time to the project.

Despite professional on-site supervision Mrs Bedford says it will be a challenging undertaking.

"It will be tight to finish everything on time so all volunteers will be gratefully received," she said.

image copyrightLED Architects
image captionThe eco-houses are expected to be completed by September 2015

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