Below is some suggested text if you would like to write a letter, you're welcome to use this text as you wish.
Click here to download a template letter of support
I support the planning application (ref 4254/20/FUL) from South Dartmoor Community Energy. I believe this eco-affordable housing development is much needed for Ivybridge and Ugborough and will have a positive impact on the local community.
There is a clear need for more affordable and social housing in the local area: Despite several large new developments in the area there are not enough homes which local people can genuinely afford. There is also hidden housing need which SDCE have uncovered in their surveys.
It’s exciting to see how the whole project has been designed to reduce carbon emissions and to generate its own clean solar energy, the microgrid is a clever solution to balance the electricity within the site and reduce the impact on the local electricity network. This also means that the tenants have access to clean low-cost electricity, making these homes affordable to run as well as rent.
I can see that this scheme has been designed to be sensitive to the location and the wildlife on the site and laid out with plenty of green spaces, meadow roofs and areas to protect the wildlife on the site such as dormice, slow worms and bats.
A lot of attention has been paid to the drainage strategy and it is good to see how the landscaping is working together with the banks and swales, I think this site will be a lovely place to live and will have a really positive impact on the wellbeing of the residents.
I am happy to see that SDCE has been very open and honest about this proposal from the outset and has undertaken extensive community consultation which shows the community strongly in favour of the project. It is great that it will be run as a not-for-profit and that local people will be able to invest in it. I like the additional benefits that the project will bring to the wider community, such as the electric car club, the new community hall and even the new jobs for local people. There are so many new homes being built on the Eastern side of Ivybridge, the community hub will provide a useful extra space for clubs and groups to meet.
I am pleased to see that SDCE are taking measures to minimize the impact of additional vehicles on the roads in the town, providing shared electric bikes to reduce short car journeys. And the shared electric cars will mean that households can avoid having a second car which will save them money as well.
But what is really brilliant about this project is the holistic approach to providing affordable housing. This proposal ticks both boxes of tackling fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions and answers the question ‘how should we build zero carbon new homes in a climate emergency?’ SDCE are very brave for taking on this challenge and demonstrating how we can Build Back Better, they have my support.
We were delighted to be awarded a grant from the South Hams District Council Community Led Development Initiative to enable us to continue to progress our eco affordable housing project.
The fund was established to support community organisations develop affordable housing for local people. We have been working with our local affordable housing officer to ensure our housing project meets local needs.
Project manager, Sophie Phillips said: "It's so encouraging to have this funding from SHDC, as a non-profit organisation there's no way we could do this project without grant funding. The SHDC grant is essential for us to top up our funding from Homes England. The cost of the surveys and design work is very high, and the process is complex which makes it very hard for community organisations like us to engage in the housing sector. It is so important that the local authority can support small projects like ours which deliver amazing local benefits back into the community."
You can read more about our housing project here.
An email from Katie Reville in April 2014: "At some point you have been in touch with PL:21 to express an interest in getting involved in community energy initiatives and the time has come for us to all get together to see where our skills and interests lie and to look at what we can actually do for the benefit of the Ivybridge community."
This was where SDCE began.
Katie has been instrumental to SDCE over the past years, and we were very sad to accept her resignation from the board at our AGM on the 9th Sep 2020. She has put in so many hours not just to SDCE but to other community initiatives in the area and now it's time for her to step back and take a breather.
Katie's passion for community action and commitment to tackling fuel poverty led to the setting up of our energy advice service which is now in its fifth year. When Katie was at the helm we helped over 400 people over the winter to keep their homes warm and reduce their energy bills. Community energy groups all across Devon will have benefited from her involvement in the sector in some way.
Katie's ability to push things forward and make a difference is incredible and we will certainly miss her on the Board, but we wish her all the best in her valuable role at the Energy Savings Trust and hope she enjoys a lot more free time with her family.
Here are a few pics from the last few years!
PLEASE NOTE: The online consultation has now closed but you can still email us about this project.
We're really excited to launch the community consultation for our eco-affordable housing project on the outskirts of Ivybridge.
The project has been a long time in the making, but we are now aiming to submit a planning application later this Autumn and would love to know your thoughts on the project.
We have a webinar coming up on the 4th August at 6.30pm, for which you will need to register. Full details of the project can be found on our community housing pages.
Or click here to go straight to the survey if you already know about the project.
Are you looking for a job where you can make a real difference to the community and the planet?
We have a very exciting opportunity for a highly motivated self-employed person to join our team, but the catch is that you must start as a volunteer and secure funding for your own post. The post is then open for you to develop as you wish in accordance with our Aims and at the approval of the Board of Directors, hours are negotiable.
We have several projects underway for which we’d expect some delivery support, these include communicating climate action to families and schools, developing a ground-breaking innovative passivhaus housing scheme, securing funding for fuel poverty projects, responding to relevant consultations and supporting several multi-million pound renewable energy projects in the early development stage.
We need someone who is…
South Dartmoor Community Energy is a non-profit community energy organisation, we’re run by a team of voluntary directors and our aims are to reduce fuel poverty and tackle the Climate Emergency through developing community-led renewable energy generation schemes that provide a direct benefit to the local community. We work in the South Hams in Devon, primarily around the Ivybridge area. We’re an active member of a network of community energy groups in Devon and work closely with local authorities.
Please note: SDCE is not an employer, this is not a salaried post, you will be expected to volunteer until further funding is secured. SDCE is in a position to take huge steps forward and increase our capacity with the right person on the team. We have been working in this way for 4 years and always sustained between 3 and 7 part time project roles.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
To apply please email your CV and covering letter to email@example.com before the 17th July 2020.
The closing date is 17th July 2020. Phone or zoom interviews will take place w/c 27th July or 3rd August, successful applicant will be notified by 14th August 2020, to start as soon as possible.
You can download this as a pdf here.
Our energy advice team is still here to help you with any problems or questions you have with your energy bills:
The government has agreed a basic package of measures with all energy suppliers to protect their customers, found here.
You can find official guidance from Ofgem on these topics and more at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-and-your-energy-supply but we are here to help you if you want to speak to someone local.
We can help over the phone and by email, if you have a smart phone we may be able to have a video call - please bear with us this will be new ground for us too!
Please contact us today.
Our shiny new pilot project Net Zero Heroes kicked off today at Sparkwell School.
Dr Juliette gave an assembly and ran some fun workshops for the children to encourage them and their families to take action on climate change.
The assemblies will all be focused on “What is Climate Change?” and “What is global warming?” and then we’ll be getting the children motivated to become Net Zero Heroes - working together to contribute to stopping climate change. There will be props, demonstrations, dress up, role play, thought provoking actions, inspiring ideas, laughter, and a positive attitude to their individual actions contributing to the big goals.
Next week will be our first Community Roadshow where the general public can come along to find out more about reducing their carbon emissions and sign up to take the Net Zero Hero Challenge!
For more information on Net Zero Heroes please click here, we're going to be in Townstal, Modbury, Malborough, Buckfastleigh, Ugborough, Ivybridge, Kingsbridge, South Brent, Diptford, Cornwood, Loddiswell, Newton Ferrers, Yealmpton, Brixton, Wembury, and Holbeton.
In November SDCE became aware of a planning application for a gas peaking power station in Ivybridge. We do not believe this is an appropriate technology in a climate emergency and subsequently launched a petition, commented on the planning application and began further conversations regarding the proposal.
We have spoken to WPD and understand that this substation has been identified as one that is open for flexibility services. We have also been assured that while we do need increased grid back up in this area, it is no worse than the rest of the WPD area.
Alternatively we would like to see solar PV for clean local renewable energy generation, batteries for flexibility and grid balancing, and an electric vehicle fast charging hub with a small café and pedestrian access to the town centre to cater for the imminent flood of EVs.
This is our vision.
Over the next few months we will be working hard to try and make this vision a reality, it will not be easy or straightforward, and it may not work, but that is a risk we take with innovative projects and new ideas. We will need to secure funding to determine the feasibility both in energy terms and financially. We will need to engage key stakeholders and the local community. We will need to continue to campaign against the construction of a gas peaking power station.
We hope you can join us on this exciting journey!
If you'd like to sign the petition to object to the construction of a gas peaking power station please click here.
On the 23rd November we gathered in Filham Park in Ivybridge to plant 420 saplings from the Woodland Trust.
We were led by the local ranger, Andrew Price, and planted the trees in two rows to create a new hedge beside the Manstow Football Club pitch.
Over 20 people came, including lots of children. The rain even stopped for a while!
We'd like to thank Cate for having the idea in the first place and applying to the Woodland trust for the trees, and ITC for organising the planting day.
Conrad Energy have submitted a planning application to South Hams District Council to build a gas peaking power station in Ivybridge. A gas peaking power station is one that can start up quickly to deal with the surges in electricity demand that happen at peak times, such as the evening when everyone is home watching TV, cooking, showering etc. They say we need it to cope with the intermittency of more renewable energy like wind and solar on the grid.
We oppose the construction of a new gas peaking plant because:
SDCE believe it completely inappropriate to build a gas-fired power station in this location. Low-carbon solutions are out there, this is not one of them!
View and sign the petition here: http://chng.it/nVTpGJNQ6L
You can view and comment on the planning application here: http://bit.ly/334EoHe
Comments must be submitted before the 29th November 2019.
SDCE has submitted a letter of objection which you can view here.