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South Hams' affordable homes underway

Sunday, May 8th, 2022 11:23am

By Philip Churm, local democracy reporter

Turf cutting for new affordable homes (courtesy: South Hams District Council)

Just eight, but they're the first for a generation

Builders in South Hams are starting work on the first affordable homes for local people to be constructed in a generation. 

Along with the contractor, Classic Builders, councillors attended a turf-cutting event at the site, St Ann’s Chapel, near Bigbury on Tuesday.

A total of 11 properties are set to be built and, when complete, eight will be offered at affordable rents to local people, with the remaining three for sale on the open market to subsidise the development.  

South Hams District Council defines affordable homes as: ”Housing for sale or rent, for those whose needs are not met by the market, including housing that provides a subsidised route to home ownership and/or is for essential local workers.”

Councillors declared a housing crisis in September 2021 because of the severe shortage of affordable rented and shared ownership accommodation, which is particularly severe in coastal areas such as St Ann’s Chapel.  

The eight affordable homes will include energy efficient systems such as air source heat pumps and low water use fittings.  They will also be fitted with electric car charging points..

Leader of South Hams District Council, Cllr Judy Pearce (Cons, Salcombe and Thurlestone) said: “We’re thrilled that for the first time in a generation, we can deliver our own affordable housing for local people. 

“These eight environmentally friendly homes are being built to help our residents who are struggling to get much-needed homes. 

“The homes are energy efficient and economical to run, which is of course important in terms of both running costs and the environment.

“This is just one of the avenues we are following in the direct action we promised to tackle the housing crisis. We know there is much still to do and we are committed to finding ways to help to reduce this issue for our residents.

“The success of these schemes is helped enormously by the great working partnerships with local community groups. By working together we can develop much needed homes which match local housing needs.”

Funding for the development also comes from Section 106 contributions, Affordable Housing Earmark Reserve funds, Homes England grant funding and Public Works Loan Board borrowing.  

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