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Where's Home: Backed by Beckham - Michael Eavis' housing vision

David Beckham has backed Michael Eavis' rural housing solution Credit: PA

The founder of Glastonbury Festival believes he has found the solution to the housing crisis gripping the West Country.

The region has become one of the most unaffordable places to live, which has forced many young people to move away from the communities they grew up in to find cheaper housing.

Michael Eavis has now donated some of his land for affordable housing for local people to keep the community of Pilton alive.

His idea has even won the backing of David Beckham and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. They visited Maggie's Farm, a social housing development built on the land he'd donated and using stone from his quarry.

He hopes other farmers will follow his example.

If every farmer gave away ten acres of their land it's not a lot. It's only a corner of a field it's not a big deal. If every farmer gave away ten acres of land for social housing it would help solve the problem.

– Michael Eavis
The social housing development Maggie's Farm has been built on land donated by Michael Eavis. Credit: ITV West Country
10x
Average house in the West Country costs more than 10 times typical earnings.
£61,700
Household income needed to afford a mortgage.
+£6,500
Houses in rural areas are roughly £6,500 higher than in urban areas.

The National Housing Federation has found that the average house in the West Country costs more than 10 times typical earnings and the average family would need a household income of at least £61,700 to afford a mortgage.

Beyond that, house prices in rural areas are roughly £6,500 higher than in urban areas. At the same time,incomes in these areas are lower, meaning that those living in rural areas face an additional squeeze on their finances.

Michael first had the idea to build local houses for local people 45 years ago. Even then he recognised younger working people struggled to find affordable homes in the village.

Tracey Mapstone says she would have been forced to move miles away from home if it wasn't for Michael's vision of affordable housing becoming a reality in Pilton.

I wouldn't have been able to stay in the village at all. I literally would have had to pack up and move away. Private renting and buying in this area is huge money and we can't afford things like that so it makes all the difference - we have a stable home, reasonable rent and it takes a lot of worries away.

– Tracey Mapstone
Emily Brine and her partner and their two children are delighted to be able to live in Pilton. Credit: ITV West Country

There is also the fear that rural communities like Pilton will simply die out if there are no young families coming in. Emily Brine is one of the new residents and is already thinking of the long term future.

There are four generations of my partner's family in this village so it would be nice if my son got housed here or my daughter and kept the generations rolling.

We might be taking over Pilton!

– Emily Brine

It's a sentiment Michael Eavis is backing to the hilt - "They'll never be sold these houses, they'll never be sold for profit. They're available to rent for ever and ever and ever.

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