Work & play - onwards & upwards!
When our first Planning Application was rejected in 2006, (what a blow that was), a radical rethink was needed. Because of the dearth of local affordable housing, the idea was put forward that we could work with a Housing Association and instead of the timber barn becoming offices and group space it would become residential units. This plan was expanded to half the units being owned by a Housing Association and there being fourteen units in all (rather than the original 11). The association that decided to make a huge leap of faith and work with us was East Dorset Housing Association (now known as Synergy). To this end we held a meeting for potential H.A. residents and from this one of our final Core Group, John emerged. He initially rented one of the holiday cottages before the new build was completed. Our initial Core Group had by this time settled at 5 residents so we were ready to contemplate the next stage in attracting potential new members.
But it wasn’t all work and daily grind. There was....
plus trips to local Moviola films, Shaftesbury Arts theatre, Sherborne White Room events, Salisbury Theatre, music gigs and arts events. I think we all appreciated having instant access to company, shared transport and discovering the evening delights of the area.
There were also shared work activities upgrading the houses and gardens, carrying out tree pruning and very occasional necessary felling to let light and warmth into the elderly properties.
The second time of submission saw the Planning Application PASSED to the joy of us all and such gratitude for all the hard work and heartache that had gone into it. A mountain climbed, but oh, what was this? A further range ahead? Well, we got this far, no turning back now, so gird up the loins and onward and upward!
In November 2011 we celebrated our 7th birthday.
What an achievement!
Here's to the next 7 and many more beyond!