New homes created in north Plymouth for affordable rent

Work has started on 11 new affordable homes being created at two sites in the north of Plymouth.

The £2.4million project is being delivered by Plymouth Community Homes, the city’s largest social housing provider, with support from Plymouth City Council and Homes England, and involves a mixture of 2-bed homes and 1-bed bungalows created for affordable rent by those in registered housing need in the local area.

Seven homes are being built on land at St Helens Walk in Whitleigh, which formerly housed some disused PCH garages and had become an area subject to fly tipping. The homes include a mix of modern, energy efficient 1-bed bungalows and 2-bed houses. All of the new homes will be gas-free, with air source heat pumps installed, to help ensure they are more energy-efficient for tenants and have a smaller environmental impact.

The build has been made possible thanks to £70,000 of funding from the council’s ‘Plan for Homes’ funding pot, £378,000 from Homes England, and surplus land from Plymouth City Council transferred to PCH for a nominal fee of £1.

A further four 2-bed homes are being created on land at Bampfylde Way in Southway, part-funded with Land Release funding from One Public Estate (LGA & Cabinet Office) alongside £40,000 from Plan for Homes and £232,000 from Homes England, as well as the city council transferring the land for a nominal fee of £1.

The houses are being built to a high energy-efficient standard with solar roof panels as well as gas-free heating pumps to maximise energy-efficiency, and will also benefit from gardens and parking spaces.

Devon-based firm Coyde Construction is managing the building work, which got underway at both sites this month. Work is expected to complete in winter 2023.

Gavin Sutton, Senior Project Manager for Development at Plymouth Community Homes, said: “It’s great to see work starting this month on new affordable homes for people in Plymouth to help meet the growing need for good quality social housing in the city. We are grateful for the support of our funding partners and of Plymouth City Council in enabling these two sites in the north of Plymouth to be developed.

“The 11 new homes being built at St Helens Walk and Bampflyde Way will be modern, comfortable, and built to very high standards of energy-efficiency, which will help tenants to reduce their energy bills.”

Councillor Rebecca Smith, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, Homes and Communities, said: “I am really pleased that yet again, the partnership between the council and PCH is delivering more affordable housing for the city. We know that this city needs more homes and working with partners like PCH to help us with this makes the task look that little bit easier.

“These houses will provide people and families with homes to call their own and I look forward to seeing them complete.”

Plymouth Community Homes is the largest social housing provider in the city, managing more than 16,000 homes in Plymouth and the surrounding areas. PCH offers homes for both affordable and social rent, as well as developing homes for shared ownership and open market sale.

This scheme will further the local authority’s objective to deliver more affordable homes for Plymouth, as part of a partnership agreement between PCH and Plymouth City Council which aims to create more than 600 new homes for the city, with at least 444 of these for affordable housing.

It follows plans submitted by PCH at the end of last year for a £33.5m eco-friendly development of 136 affordable homes on land off Bath Street in the Millbay regeneration area of Plymouth City Centre.

The Bath Street scheme, developed in close partnership with Plymouth City Council, proposes to create 90 homes for affordable rent, 19 to be offered through the Government’s Rent to Buy scheme, and 27 made available for shared ownership purchase through PCH’s sales brand SO Living, subject to grant funding and planning requirements.

The project would deliver a mixture of 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments, townhouses and mews houses, as well as communal gardens, children’s play areas and commercial units.