Council Statement on 3Rivers
Back in 2017 the Council set up 3Rivers, a commercial business owned by the Council, which aimed to deliver high quality homes in Mid Devon, while providing a financial return to the Council. However, after six years it is clear these long term aims have not materialised and set against a back-drop of high interest rates, high building costs and a changing housing market the future of the firm has been uncertain for some time.
While 3Rivers has delivered successful housing projects in Mid Devon since it began, notably the Orchard, Halberton, Threwstones, Tiverton and a development of social housing in Burlescombe, the Council decided in March 2023 that 3Rivers would not embark on any new projects. Following this decision the Council’s Cabinet met on 16 Aug 2023 and has recommended 3Rivers undertake a “soft closure”, which in effect means the business would be wound down and ultimately cease trading.
This recommendation from the Cabinet will now be put forward to Full Council on 6 September for a final decision.
Cllr Luke Taylor, Leader of Mid Devon District Council, said:
“We know there have been concerns raised about the viability of 3Rivers, and the council funding of it, for some time and as a newly appointed Leader I committed to addressing this concern swiftly. Building more homes in Mid Devon, which are high quality and in the right location, is something most of us agree needs to happen, but we must make sure the process to build these homes is the right one and that our limited council resources are used in the most efficient way. We are committed to investing in Mid Devon and will now work with our officers to plan future housing delivery across the district in an open and transparent way.”
The Council will now look to seek independent advice to ensure that, should the Full Council agree to the closure, it is undertaken correctly in order to reduce any further financial exposure.