Homes for Cornwall partnership celebrates delivery of over 200 new homes
This week Homes for Cornwall partners gathered at a new 100% affordable housing development in St Breward to officially celebrate the new homes and welcome new residents. The St Breward development called Moorland Fields and Chyryn Drive provides 21 new homes for local people, ranging from one to four bedrooms. 11 are for rent and 10 for shared ownership.
The homes at St Breward go a long way to help local housing need by providing 100% affordable housing in a picturesque village where demand has been high for several years.
The development is part of “Homes for Cornwall” launched in 2014. The initiative brings together leading south west housing provider LiveWest, Cornwall Council and leading regeneration business Galliford Try Partnerships to deliver homes on Cornwall Council-owned sites across the Duchy.
The Homes for Cornwall initiative is set to see the delivery of 356 new homes over the partnership and the St Breward site is the 5th new development in Cornwall.
Naomi Bailey who, with her family, recently moved into a four-bedroom home for affordable rent on the new development said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to stay in the village. We need four bedrooms and this house is ideal. We’re all really excited. We’ve made it our home and we’re really happy with it.”
Gareth Jones, Development Director of Affordable Housing at LiveWest said: “We know there are lots of families who need a home in the village to be close to their relatives and friends. Average house prices in rural areas are roughly £6,500 higher than in urban areas and incomes in rural areas are lower.”
Homes England has provided £286,000 funding for the scheme supporting much needed affordable housing for people from St Breward.
Versha Koria, Affordable Housing Senior Specialist for Homes England said: “Homes England is happy to support this development with affordable housing grant. It is a great example of what partnership working can deliver in a rural location.”
Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall Council Cabinet portfolio holder for Homes said: “Building the right kind of housing in the right place is a key commitment for this Council. Developments like this provide local people with high-quality homes in a location they want. This development in St Breward is a great example of the Council working with other organisations to reduce our housing pressure and ensure families live comfortably in good quality affordable accommodation, which is one of the commitments we made to the people of Cornwall.”
Andrew Johnston, Managing Director for Galliford Try Partnerships commented: “It is fantastic to hear such positive feedback from the residents and local community. We are delighted with the scheme, transforming a challenging landscape into quality new homes for local people. St.Breward is a stunning new development and one that all Homes for Cornwall Partners can be truly proud of.”
Veronica Stansfield from St Breward Parish Council said: “We’ve got 21 properties for affordable rent or for shared ownership and the Parish Council are delighted. All the properties have gone to very local people so these are people living in their own community. These aren’t houses – these are homes.”
Dominic Fairman, Cornwall Councillor for St Breward and St Teath said: “To see all these local families moved in and contributing to the local shop and the local school is good news for St Breward.”
The construction of the new homes was captured by well-known Cornish Artist, Chris Thomas, who worked in a small studio next door. He saw the building site in St Breward near Bodmin as a thing of “beauty and movement”. Chris, who has lived In Cornwall for 50 years and has enjoyed painting its people and landscapes all his life was spellbound by what he describes as “A little piece of history” and decided to capture, on canvas, the creation of the 21 new affordable homes in the village.
Chris, who was working in his studio when construction began, approached Galliford Try Partnerships Site Manager, Colin Benny to ask permission to paint the homes as they were being built.
Galliford Try Partnerships built Chris his own viewing platform so he could be right at the centre of the action on site without being in danger.
Work has also started on a Homes for Cornwall development on the site of the former Cornwall Council offices at St Clare in Penzance with more homes in Penzance due to be built on the old Depot site.
Eight Cornwall Council owned sites were identified for potential housing developments as part of the Council's Housing Investment Plan and the Homes for Cornwall partnership has so far delivered 205 new homes. Releasing and building on Council-owned land both provides affordable housing (currently predicted to exceed 44% of the total number due to be built over the course of the programme) and funds which will be re-invested in more land for further development opportunities.
Around 20,000 homes were built last year in the South West, compared to the 42,000 homes the region needs annually. This dire housing shortage is leaving thousands of people unable to buy their own home or find a stable home in the private rented sector, and is even pushing people into homelessness.
The homes at St Breward provide much needed rural housing for local people. The scheme is a great example of where rural housing has made a difference to local people, these homes have supported families to stay in an area where they have lived and will be contributing to wider services such as local schools and shops.
The event this week was important to highlight how new housing can breathe life into rural communities. It also promotes how rural housebuilding can be key to the survival of vital community assets and services, such as schools, post offices and pubs.