Work starts to build 74 new homes at two former school sites

Work has started to build 74 new homes across two former school sites in Exwick.

Exeter City Councillors gave the go-ahead last June for Homes for the South West member, LiveWest, to build 43 homes on the former Exwick Middle School site in Higher Exwick Hill and 31 homes on the site of the former Foxhayes School in Gloucester Road.

Now work has begun to build a mixture of social rent and shared ownership homes across both sites.

LiveWest, the largest housing association across the South West, has joined forces with Classic Builders on the 18-month project.

The development will benefit from grant-funding from government housing agency Homes England, through its strategic programme.

Homes England has formed strategic partnerships with a number of housing associations to provide the investment, flexibility and resources needed to increase the supply of affordable homes.

Nicola Heagarty, Development Manager for LiveWest, said: “We are delighted that works are underway on these two sites which have stood vacant for many years.

“There will be a mixture of rental and home ownership options and these new homes will form a high quality and sustainable affordable housing development.

“Thanks to the grant support from Homes England, we are able to deliver this development as 100% affordable housing, contributing to the growing need for affordable homes across the city.”

The two former school sites became surplus to requirements when the nearby Exwick Heights Primary School opened in 2008. 

As part of LiveWest’s commitment to protecting the environment, the developments will benefit from dedicated ecology areas, bird nesting boxes and the retention of mature trees on site.

The development is focused on retaining much of the natural environment and LiveWest have also pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 10%.

Nicola Heagarty added: “The sites are steeply sloping and benefit from fantastic views and a mature natural environment. Our approach has been to work with those aspects to create new compact communities nestled in nature. 

“We have some fantastic mature trees to work with and will dedicate ecology areas on each site to create protected spaces for the wildlife that we know visit these sites.

“Because we will remain the freeholder and manager of the completed developments, we have the opportunity to manage and maintain this environment for future generations. 

“Each site creates new pedestrian and cycle routes that we hope will simplify moving around Exwick and reduce reliance on cars. The use of photovoltaic panels and provision of electric car charging points will reduce our carbon footprint further.”

Lewis Tolputt, Business Development Manager for Classic Builders, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be working with LiveWest in delivering these two exciting projects.

“The redevelopment of the former Exwick and Foxhayes School sites will not only provide additional high-quality homes for local residents but also valuable social and economic opportunities for nearby businesses.”