It was a pleasure to talk to Steve Prime, the Chief Executive of the South Devon Rural Housing Association which is now part of Partnership South West. We talked about the issues facing Housing Associations as they try to increase the provision of affordable rented housing in the South Hams.
SDRHA currently manages 200 homes but would like to expand to 250. To do so they would be helped by easier access to a dedicated fund for rural housing and the freedom that community land trusts may provide. Steve would like to see a reduction in the time that it takes for plans to be processed and a reduction in pre-planning costs. He is not the first to raise the issue of contaminated land surveys, which now have to be carried out pre-planning rather than post-planning, this is significantly adding to the costs for rural housing associations.