After long and drawn-out negotiations for the purchase of land to provide affordable housing for the community of Salcombe, the Trustees of Salcombe Community Land Trust were told recently that the landowners had decided to pull out of the project and withdraw the land offered for sale.

The Trustees were taken by surprise and are disappointed by this sudden termination to negotiations that had been ongoing for four years.

No definitive reason has been given for this decision, and the news was announced at Salcombe CLT’s AGM on Tuesday October 31.

The Trustees are saddened that so much public money has already been spent on this project. The comprehensive feasibility study, community consultation, and the planning application have been financed by over £110,000 of taxpayer’s money through Homes England and £25,000 directly from South Hams District Council.

“We just don’t understand.” said Nikki Turton, Chair of the Salcombe Community Land Trust. “We believed that we as the CLT alongside our partner housing association, Aster Group, had addressed all the legal concerns raised by the landowners over the last four years so we really don’t understand why, at the eleventh hour, they have changed their minds. We are now worried for the local community which has been waiting for this development, which was to be comprised entirely of social rented properties for locals, built and maintained by Aster.

We will now take stock and consider carefully what we do next as a CLT.”