Now More Than Ever It Is Community That Matters

Now More Than Ever It Is Community That Matters

23rd April 2020

Hello. We hope that you are all keeping safe and well. It is certainly at times like this that we are reminded of the importance of community, and the welfare of those who are live around us.  

The last few weeks have shown us that supporting people from all walks of life in our local community is more important than ever, which is why we continue to work towards creating affordable ecologically sound housing for the people of Bridport.

Following an article in the Daily Mail (10 April 2020 ‘1000 New Homes In Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’    which reported on the failed legal challenge by Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)  in the High Court against plans for the Vearse Farm housing development project in Bridport, the Directors of the Smart Community Project have responded with an ‘Open Letter’ to the local community. It aims to highlight why their proposal for Watton Village is the perfect alternative to such a mass housing projects in the local area. We hope it proves an insightful and reassuring read. 

Open Letter from our Directors

“Dear people of Bridport, 

Following an article that you may have seen in the Daily Mail on April 10 2020 about the planning approval of 1000 houses at Vearse Farm, we want you to know that Bridport has an alternative to this mass housing project. An alternative that would support the real needs of our beloved town and community.

As activists who feel passionately about building effective local housing, we have created a plan to develop over 200 homes, 10 minutes from the Town Centre, all with solar panelled roofs, 99% heat efficient and affordable to rent for local people currently on housing lists living in real housing poverty.

How can we do this?

The land has been leased to us for 40 years by a local landowner. The majority of the affordable properties on Watton Village are likely to be financed by a major city institution who will recoup their investment from the rental income.

As three unpaid activist Directors, our Architect Jonathan Lovett is passionate about space and over a site of 75 acres, only just over 25 acres will be built on, creating a development that welcomes green spaces and embraces the natural beauty of the area. 

This has allowed fellow Director Vince Adams to explore many opportunities for supporting wildlife and how we create a community centred around low cost energy and green spaces of the families.

We believe that Bridport doesn’t need housing development on the scale of Vearse Farm but should create proper affordable homes for its local workforce of frontline people, nurses, teachers, shop workers, council workers and many others.

This is a major opportunity and a story waiting to be told by communities all over the country. As a Bridport resident and one of the Directors of the project, Roy Mathisen is passionate about using his knowledge of the local community and it’s housing crisis, to respond to this by creating a housing development project that delivers affordable housing for those most in need, rather than creating home that are simply out of many local people’s price range. 

The issue of housing is an important one, and one which will continue to be of importance once the virus crisis is over and the realisation that we are one community and all our lives depend so much on our local services and workforce.”


Roy Mathisen, Jonathan Lovett, Vince Adams

Project Directors, Watton Village

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