End of an era as last of the old homes demolished in North Prospect, Plymouth

Homes for the South West member Plymouth Community Homes has reached a landmark in the regeneration of North Prospect, as the housing association finished pulling down the old homes in Phase 4, the last phase to be rejuvenated.

Plymouth Community Housing contractor, Vistry Partnerships, tore down the final homes in Laurel Road.

The momentous footage was captured by local firm Red Air Drones. The site is now completely clear.

Construction of this new phase has already begun and the final homes are due to be completed in 2024.

Former local residents have been reminiscing about their time in the area – and looking ahead to the future.

Marion Cole lived in Myrtleville for 33 years where she brought up her twin daughters. She also has two sons from her first marriage. She moved out of Phase 4 and into a bungalow near Weston Mill.

Marion said: “I felt sad to leave. I loved it there.

“I love where I am now though. It’s a two-bed bungalow so it’s much easier for me as I have COPD and I wasn’t able to get up the stairs. It’s made a lot of difference to me.

“I didn’t want a new build. I don’t like the outside appearance of them but the area is looking better than it used to. The regeneration is all for the good. It will be interesting to see what it’s like when it’s all finished.

“North Prospect is such a close-knit community. People look out for each other.”

Marion’s former neighbour, Elaine Braddon, lived in Myrtleville for a similar amount of time before moving to her current home in Pennycross.

She said: “I was a bit gutted to leave but to be honest the houses did need a lot of work doing to them so they really needed to come down. I had mildew in the bathroom and I was wiping it down all the time.

“I love my new house. It’s smaller but I have a dining room. The garden is better. It’s lovely and quiet and I’ve got good neighbours. My eldest daughter also lives close by.

“When the regen is finished it will hopefully all look really good.”

Nick Jackson, Director of Business Services and Development at PCH, said:

“We’ve reached a landmark in this regeneration – the biggest of its kind in the South West. Over the last ten years, along with our partners, we’ve made massive changes to North Prospect, building new homes and improving the community for people who live there.

“This phase ensures the regeneration will complete the delivery of the final much-needed quality homes for the diverse range of Plymouth residents who need a good place to live.”

Bradley Davison, Managing Director Vistry Partnerships South West, commented:

“We are delighted to have partnered with PCH on the final phase of regeneration in this area to provide nearly 200 new homes for the people of North Prospect.

“The development is a perfect example of how effective partnership working can transform an area, providing mixed tenure homes and revitalising spaces for the local community.”

Photos by Red Air Drones.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet member for Housing and Cooperative Development at Plymouth City Council, said:

“Pulling down the last of the old stock is a momentous milestone in this brilliant project.

“The regeneration of North Prospect has been backed from beginning by our Plan for Homes and last year, we were delighted to be able to pledge £1m from our Housing Investment Fund to the scheme.

“I look forward to seeing the new houses take shape and in time, those houses turned into new homes by new residents.”

This final phase will be named Mayflower Leat and will provide 196 new homes.

There will be 125 affordable homes – 87 will be for rent and 38 shared ownership homes will be marketed through SO Living.

There will be 71 homes for open market sale which will be sold by Vistry Partnerships through their Linden Homes brand, with a range of two and three bedroom homes available.

As well as PCH’s own contribution to the regeneration, it’s extremely grateful to have received £2.8m from Homes England to get the regeneration to where it is today and continues to seek grants to complete the work.

It has also received £2.55m of government cash via Plymouth City Council as part of infrastructure funding.

Contractor Kier Living is continuing work at Briarwood (Phase 5), where they’re building 143 homes – 77 for affordable housing and shared ownership and 66 for open market sale.

As well as building homes, PCH has also built the Beacon Community Hub, a £3.8m facility purpose built for the community with flats for the over 55s above.

In 2015, North Prospect won the Inside Housing award for Best Regeneration Scheme against stiff national competition. The judges recognised the community involvement in the project and the transformation of the neighbourhood. That year also saw a VIP visit to North Prospect from the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, to view the progress so far.

While the new build phases have held the limelight, PCH has also structurally repaired and refurbished homes. The refurb programme, delivered by Mi-space, saw £15m invested into 300 homes. Cavity walls were repaired and stabilised, homes insulated to improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel costs and tenants given the choice of new kitchens and bathrooms.