The Off-Grid Water Project - Broadhempston CLT

by Broadhempston CLT in Broadhempston

We did it
On 2nd May 2016 we successfully raised £4,160 with 44 supporters in 42 days

Broadhempston CLT wants to provide an eco off-grid water management system for 6 local families who are self-building affordable housing .

by Broadhempston CLT in Broadhempston


Our affordable housing project is located in rural South Devon in the village of Broadhempston. Construction started in February 2015 with the building of the foundations and the erection of the timber frames. Eco features of the houses include straw bale insulation, solar PVs, solar passive heating and an architectual design which capitalises on natural sources of energy.  

We are now at the stage where we need to install a Biodigester and filtration system to deal with waste water and to construct a drainage system to deal with surface water. 

Self-builder,Gavin Bedford, completing the roofing



Broadhempston Community Land Trust was set up to help meet the need for affordable housing in the village of Broadhempston. Broadhempston CLT is a community interest company made up of local people who wanted to self-build their own affordable houses and were committed to sustainable and ecological house design.  

Photo of the 6 self-build families 



Broadhempston CLT want to provide a water system which is off-grid, affordable, self-sufficient and in keeping with the ecological ethos of the project. With the money raised from crowdfunding we will install a biodigester and filtration system to manage the waste water from the houses. We also want to build a Sustainable Drainage System which offers an intergrated approach to dealing with rainfall. We need crowdfunding to ensure that these houses remain affordable for the families that are building them now and into the future. 

 Examples of sustainable swale drainage systems winding through the landscape which would be planted with local varieties of water loving plants   (image  source



This project is worthy of funding because it offers an alternative model of affordable housing during a time when the UK is in a housing crisis. If this project is to be successful in providing affordable houses then we need to ensure that not only the rents remain affordable but that we also keep the running costs low. So far we have achieved this in part through design and straw bale insulation but we feel that affordability and self-sufficiency will be cemented by our own off-grid water management at a cost significantly lower than that required by the regional water company.

Our sustainable drainage system will use the natural landscape to control surface water on the site in a way which is ecological and sustainable. It will also preserve the particular visual impact of the local geography.This type of drainage system produces a flow of clean water which is beneficial to wildlife and is in keeping with the ecological ethos of this project. The biodigester and filtration system will ensure that all waste water from the houses is managed naturally on site and off-grid. All the water produced from the biodigester is pollution free and can be recycled for amenity purposes. 

This worthiness is reflected by the great interest shown in both national and local media. There have been articles in the Western Morning News, Herald Express and the Totnes Times. BBC Radio Devon, Heart FM and Radio 4 Farming Today have all covered this innovative development which is also featured on the BBC News website. We have entertained visiting groups and individuals,for example, Totnes Transition Town, other CLT's, Schumacher College at Dartington, and Plymouth University. Two of our self-builders were the featured guest speakers at a National Conference run by Teignbridge District Council where the Broadhempston CLT self-build project was the exemplar case study. We are also working closely with South Devon College and providing opportunites for apprentices to gain invaluable experience in working on an environmentally sensitive, affordable housing development, utilising innovative architectural design features and alternative water provision. The range and consistency of the media exposure and the involvement and support of local government and educational institutions in both the public and private sector demonstrate the worthiness of our bid for financial support for our off-grid water project through crowdfunding. This is very much an investment by donors in an important local community enterprise.

We also believe that our project will serve future generations through its sustainability and affordability and we are fully committed to continue sharing the experience and learning from our model of self-build eco-housing to other interested groups, organisations and individuals. This,too,we believe, is worthy of support through crowdfunder donations.


Jeremy Christophers (Leader of Teignbridge District Council) "The BCLT is a compelling story, which is close to a happy ending. Teignbridge District Council is a supporter of this scheme as it delivers a long-term housing solution at the heart of the community for local people. The hardworking group of self-builders deserve your support."

Resonance Limited "Proud to have backed the building of these beutiful homes"

Sophie Pearce (BBC Radio Devon Journalist) "Amazingly hard work by @BCLT_Sefbuild"

Transition Town Totnes "@BCLT_selfbuild thank you for hosting such an inspiring & informative session"

Charles Acland (Self-Build Officer for Teignbridge District Council) "It represents an important learning model for the authority and the Government in its potential to inform a template for future CLT self build schemes in rural areas, and as such the council underlines its commitment to assisting the project in whatever way possible, and we fully support the BCLT in its important contribution and in its bid for funding"


For more information about us visit






This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

A thank you for believing in our project!

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A thank you for believing in our project plus an acknowledgment of your contribution on BCLT's website, facebook and twitter.

£50 or more

£50 Reward

All the above plus an signed photograph of the project from all the self-builders.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

All the above plus your 'Message of Hope' included on the website.

£150 or more

£150 Reward

All of the above plus a guided tour of the site and the chance to look around one of the eco-houses.

£200 or more

£200 Reward

All of the above, plus a Devonshire cream tea in one of the Eco-Houses!

£250 or more

£250 Reward

All of the above, plus a commemorative photo of your day with Broadhempston CLT!

£500 or more

£500 Reward

All of the above, plus dinner and an overnight stay in one of the Eco-houses with the opportunity to discuss the project . You may end up wanting to do this yourself!

£1,000 or more

£1,000 Reward

All of the above, plus an all inclusive weekend stay in one of the Eco-houses, giving you a taster of what it's like to be part of a community self-build group!

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