New rural affordable homes in Devon help local people improve health and wellbeing

South west housing association, Westward Housing Group, is proud to provide six new affordable homes as part of a larger rural development near Great Torrington.

Working with Gilbert and Goode in a first time partnership, six new Westward homes have been provided this spring at Merton in Devon. 

The lovely new rural homes are much needed affordable housing for local people. A local connection for Westward’s affordable homes applies, so that these homes can benefit residents.

New Westward resident Mr Marcus Bailey, said, he had been on the waiting list for about seven years. He used to work in construction but he found himself in a hostel in Torrington but the people there had too many complex issues for him to stay. He suffered family losses and alcohol addiction as well as mental health issues. After he became homeless, he says he was fortunate to be given this opportunity.

“When I got here and they opened the door I thought Wow! When I looked around it was so beautiful! I felt it was mine before I even got here. So I’m really happy.

“I’ve got family in Petrockstowe and I’m a Bideford boy. I grew up on a farm and love the countryside. They’re a really friendly community here and made me feel quite welcome.

If I go away now, I’m always excited to get home and shut the door. Since I’ve been here my depression is getting better. I’ve met a lot of people. The best move I’ve had for years.

“This home is wonderful, I honestly think Westward is the best landlord out there.”

Mark Bailey, new tenant at Tarka View, Merton

Westward’s Chief Executive, Barbara Shaw, said: “It’s great that our mixed development of high quality flats and family homes, for both rent and shared ownership, will provide a range of options to meet high local and affordable housing need in this part of Devon.”

Four homes are rental and two are shared ownership. Housing need was high and all the homes, provided through a section 106 agreement, have been allocated or sold.

They provide a mix of two part-rent part-buy or shared ownership houses (three-bed and two-bed) plus four homes for affordable rent (two one-bed flats, one two-bed coach house and one two-bed house) meaning there is something to suit most people locally.

The homes include an attractive curved corner property with brick fascia rising to the first floor. The site will be fully landscaped and many homes benefit from great views.

Westward’s rental properties were let on affordable rents for local people who met the connection to the area criteria, they were allocated with Devon Home Choice. The local connection was agreed between Westward Lettings and Torridge District Council.  

Affordability is a major issue in this area with very low average regional income. This site is near Great Torrington and the A386, with limited public transport as it is a rural area. There is a stunning outdoor environment for people to enjoy in their leisure time.

Gavin Caldwell, Gilbert and Goode’s construction director, said “Our new homes development, The Maltings, is a fantastic neighbourhood that showcases excellent design and build quality. Located in the charming North Devon village of Merton, it benefits from a great local community.”

“We are providing a range of affordable homes, offering local families the opportunity to rent or buy through shared ownership. Our commitment to providing more affordable housing is crucial, and we strive to create balanced communities where each family enjoys living.”

“We are very proud to have handed over these affordable homes to Westward Housing. By working together again, we’ve provided high-quality and much-needed affordable homes in this Devon community. We eagerly await welcoming the new families joining The Maltings.”