These films were taken at the Future Homes Conference held at The Dartington Hall Trust on 6-7 February 2015 in partnership with Transition Town Totnes and Dartington Parish Council.
Who’s who at the Future Homes Conference? Scroll past the videos for full biographies of all the speakers.
Introductory address by conference Chair, Lord Matthew Taylor, followed by Community & Visioning: Rob Hopkins (TTT), Frances Northrop (ATMOS), & Chris Bird (Transition Homes)
Affordability & Community Land Trusts: Erica Lewis (The Land Society) & Alison Ward (Wessex Community Assets)
Neighbourhood Planning – the work, the visioning and the pitfalls: Diane Boston (St. James’s, Exeter NP), Fred Horsington (Cerne Valley, Dorset NP) & Fergus Charlton (Foot Anstey, solicitors)
Cloughjordan Eco Village: Duncan Martin (engineer and resident)
Building for the Future: Adam Dadeby (author of Passivhaus Handbook) & Paul Jennings (air leakage expert)
Place Making: Bob Tomlinson (Living Village Trust)
Accessing the Land: Simon Bradbury (School of Architecture, Plymouth University)
Chair’s Reflection on Day 1: James Shorten (Geo)
Self-build – Community & Individual: Jim Carfrae (straw bale builder), Alan Fox (Cornwall Comm. Land Trust) Harriet Hughes & Hugo Davies (Broadhempston Comm. Land Trust), & Oscar Emanuel (self-builder)
Chair’s Closing Address plus open discussion: James Shorten (Geo)
Who’s who at the Future Homes Conference
CHRIS BIRD is a director of Transition Homes Community Land Trust (CLT) and has been involved in this project since it began seven years ago. He is the author of ‘Local Sustainable Homes – How to make them happen in your community’. Chris lives in Dartington and is an active member of Transition Town Totnes.
DIANE BOSTON has recently retired after 40 years working in the higher education and social housing sectors – latterly as a consultant and trainer working in support of organisational development and change. She has always had a keen interest in the voluntary sector and its governance and was a Trustee for three charitable organisations (Exeter Drugs Project, West Devon Homes and Torbay Housing Trust) over the past 20 years. Diane was a founding member of the Exeter St James Forum and was its Chair between June 2013 and 2014. She is now the elected Chair of Exeter St James Community Trust Ltd.
SIMON BRADBURY is a Lecturer at Plymouth University, Associate for Research and Urbanism at Richards Partington Architects and a teacher on Schumacher College’s new Ecological Design Thinking course. He has a background in both industry and Government. In Government he worked at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) where he also was instrumental in developing CABE’s policy and strategy on housing standards. He is a registered Architect and is responsible for the design of a number of award winning projects including Derwenthorpe in York for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
DR JIM CARFRAE runs Carfrae Sustainable Design, a design consultancy specialising in natural materials. He is also a university lecturer and academic researcher. In this presentation, he will demonstrate a new method of straw bale construction that has been adopted by two local Community Land Trust schemes. In this system, the straw is combined with a conventional timber frame to make a structure that is both cost effective and easy to construct. This can be used to create affordable buildings that can equal the performance of any current building standard but still have the low embodied energy.
FERGUS CHARLTON leads the planning team at Foot Anstey, solicitors. He specialises in planning and compulsory purchase law. Fergus’ planning expertise ranges from negotiating development and infrastructure agreements, through to provision of advocacy on appeal, to advising on and defending enforcement action. He regularly works with Parish and Town Councils. He provides training on planning issues such as CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy), assets of community value and neighbourhood planning.
ADAM DADEBY is a Certified Passivhaus Consultant who lives in the Totnes Passivhaus here in Dartington, which was one of the country’s first Passivhaus Certified retrofit projects, completed in 2011. He is co-author of The Passivhaus Handbook and co-director of Passivhaus Homes Ltd.
OSCAR EMANUEL is an owner director at EmanuelHendry ltd. Brought up in Drewsteignton, Dartmoor, he has spent the last eighteen years working in wood related industries. He has extensive experience in the field of heavy timber frames, specialising in design and build. Oscar’s career in timber-frame construction has taken him all over Britain and further afield gaining experience from positions in North and South America and currently France. Oscar has a passion for timber buildings in all their forms. From traditional vernacular buildings to modern, timber- inspired architecture, So when the opportunity came to self-build in his home village it was a chance to put his work into practice.
ALAN FOX is Director of Cornwall Community Land Trust. He is the immediate past Chair of the South West Region of the Chartered Institute of Housing, and is also a Corporate Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Alan has worked as a housing professional for over 41 years, and has specialised in the field of housing development, in particular the delivery of affordable housing schemes for sale and rent. For the past nine years his focus has been working with communities and community-led development, and has helped a number of rural communities deliver a wide range of affordable homes for local people.
ROB HOPKINS is the co-founder of both Transition Town Totnes and Transition Network. He is a serial blogger, author of The Power of Just Doing Stuff and he tweets as @robintransition. He is the author of The Transition Handbook and The Transition Companion, and was recently awarded a PhD by the University of Plymouth and an Honorary Doctorate by the University of the West of England. In 2012 he was voted one of the Independent’s top 100 environmentalists and one of ‘Britain’s 50 New Radicals’. He is an Ashoka Fellow, a keen gardener, one of the founders of New Lion Brewery in Totnes and a Director of Atmos Totnes, a very ambitious community-led development project.
FRED HORSINGTON is a farmer near Cerne Abbas. He has been a Parish Councillor for at least eighteen years. Fred became a District Councillor in 2003 and was put on the Planning Committee. At the next election he was appointed to the Chair of Planning at West Dorset District Council. At the 2011 election Fred lost his seat. That year Cerne Valley Parish Council was approached to become a front runner for Neighbourhood Planning which they accepted. Having been through the process Fred comes to the Future Homes conference to give us the benefit of their experience.
HARRIET HUGHES AND HUGO DAVIES helped set up Broadhempston Community Land Trust (CLT) in 2012, to provide self-build affordable housing for local people. At the time Harriet and Hugo were living with their parents whilst studying at Plymouth University. Harriet is a part-time paediatric physiotherapist and Hugo is training to be an architect and works for a practise in Totnes. Broadhempston CLT obtained planning permission for six ecological houses, a communal playground and orchard space in the summer of 2014. It has now secured funding for the project – so far they have built the access road leading to the house plots, the site welfare compost toilet and are about to start laying foundations for the houses.
PAUL JENNINGS of Aldas has over 25 years of experience of airtightness testing. This has included most of the UK Passivhaus stock, from the first domestic and non-domestic PH certified builds, both in Machynlleth, and more recently the 44-unit Lancaster Co-housing project. Also the Passivhaus B&B near Totnes. He is currently providing airtightness testing & technical support on several major EnerPHit refurbishments. Paul pioneered using concise visual summaries of an Air Barrier Strategy alongside Air Barrier Drawings as essential elements in achieving airtight buildings, and developed and led the first trainings for Airtightness Champions, the key on-site role to ensure an airtight design is realised.
ERICA LEWIS is a Director of the Land Society CIC (Community Interest Company), a Devon based social enterprise set up to support local communities self-build their own affordable eco homes. Erica’s career has been spent in developing and managing housing and social care services in the not for profit sector with a strong emphasis on community engagement. Resident in Dartington, she is also a director of Transition Homes CLT.
DR DUNCAN MARTIN qualified as a Bioprocess Engineer – a long time ago! Employed mainly in academia, after some industrial experience – main teaching and research interests in environmental protection, notably biogas processes. Moved to Zimbabwe after 17 years at University of Nottingham, then to Ireland in 2000 to a post as SL at U of Limerick. Still in climate shock! Now retired, so working twice as hard as before. Actively involved in the planning and development of Cloughjordan Ecovillage since 2002. He moved into his cosy new home in 2013. Main current activities within the ecovillage: education and research, running the district heating plant and board member.
FRANCES NORTHROP worked with communities across England on a range of projects which were led by residents before taking up the post of manager of Transition Town Totnes and a director of Totnes Community Development Society. She says the Atmos project provides a remarkable opportunity to create something special on an important site, sending a message to house builders who have an interest in Totnes and elsewhere that there is a far better way of doing development.
LORD MATTHEW TAYLOR was MP for Truro and St Austell in Cornwall from 1987 until he stood down at the 2010 general election. He became a member of the House of Lords in July 2010. When first elected as a LibDem MP in 1987 he was, at 24, the youngest MP in the House. Matthew led for the LibDems on key portfolios including Local Government, Education, Environment (winning the Green Ribbon Award as Britain’s ‘most effective environmental MP’ in 1998). In 2012 he led an independent review of the whole of the Government’s planning practice guidance. His recommendations are expected to be finalised and come into force shortly. Matthew is also Chair of the National Housing Federation which represents 1,200 not-for-profit housing associations in England and campaigns for better housing and neighbourhoods. He is also Chair of Roche Parish Neighbourhood Plan.
JAMES SHORTEN is a planner who has focused on sustainability in rural planning for over 20 years. He has worked as a campaigner, academic, researcher and consultant. Projects have ranged from national policy research to work with individual communities. He has worked extensively on planning for smaller settlements, rural housing, and has written two neighbourhood plans. At times, including currently, his professional life has felt worryingly like one or Esher’s pictures of stairs, or a game of snakes and ladders.
BOB TOMLINSON is a founding director of the Living Village Trust, set up over 20 years ago to encourage a better approach to building new settlements. They started with five houses at Bells Court in 1997 and 40 houses in 2003 at The Wintles in Shropshire. In 2007 and 2008 they designed new settlements of 350 houses near Plymouth and 164 houses in Milton Keynes. In 2007 they won Housebuilder of the Year, Best Landscape Award and Best Environmental Development for the UK. Most recently they have designed 155 houses as part of a community farm and new village near Truro. In doing this they have discovered that the key to reducing energy use and creating resilient communities is in the layout and the ‘spaces between the buildings’ rather than the buildings themselves.
ALISON WARD is a qualified social enterprise adviser specialising in advising Community Land Trusts, community groups wishing to raise finance through a community share issue, and also in research and development on innovation in community finance. Currently, Alison is working on the Wessex CLT Project for Wessex Community Assets, particularly supporting emerging CLTs to set up and run their new organisations. The Wessex CLT Project is working with a number of established and emerging Community Land Trusts in Somerset, Dorset and Devon. In May 2012 Alison, along with Steve Watson of the Wessex CLT Project, received an award from the National CLTNetwork for “Exceptional support for the sector’.