The first tenants to move into new bungalows which have been purpose built for older members of the rural North Devon community of Merton near Okehampton have been welcomed to their new homes by Lord Clinton and his son Charles Fane-Trefusis of Clinton Devon Estates.
The four semi-detached, energy efficient homes, have been built by Clinton Devon Estates to provide comfortable, village homes for long-standing tenants who were keen to downsize from larger and older properties in the area.
Each home has two bedrooms with a modern fitted kitchen and bathroom or walk-in shower room, a front and rear garden, and ample car parking space. Solar photovoltaic (PV) has been fitted to the roofs to provide low-cost heating and hot water.
The Merton homes are the latest addition to Clinton Devon Estates’ residential portfolio of over 300 tenanted properties in Devon, many of which were built in the 1800’s by Lord Clinton’s predecessor Mark Rolle.
One of the new residents is Sandra Bunn who has moved from a three-bedroom, thatched cob cottage in Merton. She said: “I’ve lived in Merton for around 20 years and when Adrian at Clinton Devon Estates told me about the new cottages I said yes right away. I’m pleased to be staying in the village and to be staying near all my old neighbours too.
“It’s lovely to be in a modern bungalow and it’s much warmer, which is great for me. I’ve been here for a couple of weeks and I’m enjoying being in the new space already.”
Mrs Bunn’s neighbours include a local farmer who had worked on Estate land for more than 40 years. Downsizing his home has meant that his six-bedroom farmhouse has become vacant for a family.
Adrian Pitts of Clinton Devon Estates explained the organisation’s commitment to supporting rural communities: “Many of Clinton Devon Estates’ properties are older houses that define the character of many rural towns and villages, especially in North Devon and East Devon.
“We believe that it’s really important to ensure that these rural communities are sustainable and, by providing the right kind of housing in the right place, there are comfortable homes for older people and larger homes for growing families who keep the primary schools full and allow local shops and pubs to survive.”
“We wish all of our new tenants in Merton a very happy and comfortable retirement in this wonderful village,” added Adrian.
The properties were built by Martyn Bowman Ltd., a family firm from just a few miles down the road in Hatherleigh, comprising Martyn, his son, daughter and son-in-law.
Adrian added: “We are really pleased with the work that Martyn and his team carried out. They were brilliant throughout, ensured everything ran smoothly and delivered exactly what they said they would. They employed the help of sub-contractors from the area too, and we’re pleased that we could support a number of local firms with this project.”