9 February 2015
Gill Coombs, Green Party candidate for the Totnes Constituency, attended the Future Homes Conference at Dartington Hall on Friday. The Conference was jointly organised by Dartington Parish Council, The Dartington Trust and Transition Town Totnes. MP Sarah Wollaston, Totnes Mayor Jacqi Hodges, district and parish councillors, planners and architects were also amongst the delegates.
The conference was chaired by Lord Matthew Taylor, former Lib Dem MP for Truro and chair of the National Housing Federation. Rob Hopkins from Transition Network began the day with his vision of a future sustainable Dartington. The conference also heard from Simon Bradbury of Plymouth University School of Architecture, Erica Lewis of the Land Society and Bob Tomlinson of The Living Village Trust.
Gill Coombs commented, 'Today has given me confidence that the substantial social housing programme announced by the Green Party can be achieved in a way that creates low impact, sustainable homes designed and built with sensitivity to the wellbeing of the community, the environment and wildlife. The shortage of affordable housing can and should be addressed through a blend of new developments on brownfield sites, tackling the issue of empty properties and second homes. Reasons for the housing shortage are complex, and should also be understood and addressed. A home is a basic right, and no-one should be homeless in a relatively wealthy county in one of the world's wealthiest countries'.