a HOUSING partnership and local councillors are striving to ensure new affordable housing in Crapstone is given to those in the local area as a priority.

Willow Tree Housing Partnership have recently hosted two drop in events at Buckland Monachorum Parish Hall for those interested in the new homes being built at the Abbey Meadows development in Crapstone and to provide more information to those wishing to make an application.

Willow Tree operations manager Mark Goodey said: ‘I can confirm that the Crapstone development is subject to an agreement that gives preference to those who live locally.

‘When dealing with a number from the first priority group further consideration will be given to location (distance from the development) with those living more locally standing a better chance of securing a property or tenancy.’

There is a hierarchy in those seeking a home, with priority given to people who have lived in West Devon for at least three years.

Next in the order are people who have lived in the area for at least six months. Next in line are immediate family of someone already living in the local area. Finally, someone who has worked in the borough for the last six months.

Buckland Monachorum parish councillor Susan Woollacott stressed that she wanted to see the development genuinely provide homes for local people who needed them.

‘I’m happy with this development on the condition that local people are put first,’ she said.

‘Often with affordable housing you can see one local person and all the others who move in are strangers to the area from much further away.’

The application, which was granted on appeal, did not come free of objection when initially submitted and faced comment that the site chosen was not an ideal place to build.

Richborough Estates, the company building the development, was originally turned down by West Devon Borough Council then secured planning permission on appeal for up to 22 dwellings (including 40% affordable housing), access, parking, landscaping/open space and associated infrastructure at Abbey Meadows.

Ric Cheadle, Buckland Monachorum ward borough councillor, said: ‘This was quite a controversial application with resistance in the village to build there. Crapstone as a village has limited amenities. We said sites which were earmarked for potential development such as Yelverton which has shops and other resources would have been a more obvious place or Buckland as it has a primary school.’

The housing partnership has confirmed that the allocation procedure for the affordable homes will begin this winter.