Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
Get Plymouth Building – helping more people afford a roof over their head
More affordable homes will be built in Plymouth much more quickly thanks to Plymouth City Council agreeing deals for the development of 10 council owned sites
The sites are being sold for housing schemes that will deliver more than 600 new homes including more than 250 affordable homes. There will be a mixture of homes for sale and rent and the properties will also be more energy efficient. The scheme will support more than 200 jobs in the city’s construction sector and in associated businesses.
Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet member for Finance whose portfolio includes housing delivery said: “We desperately need more affordable housing in the city. With such high house prices and low average wages it’s incredibly difficult for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder without the help of the ‘bank of mum and dad’ and that’s just not an option open to many.
“This Get Plymouth Building scheme will massively increase the amount of affordable housing to rent and buy and these houses will be built to high standards so they’re more energy efficient and cheaper to heat, helping reduce the large number of people living in fuel poverty.”
The housing affordability gap, rigid lending criteria and high deposit requirements contribute to be the barriers a first time buyer faces when trying to get on the property ladder.
Average house prices in Plymouth are around £161,937. In Plymouth an income of at least £28,000 is needed to buy a two bed property, plus a deposit, but average wages are low. A mid range salary is £23,600 with 20 per cent of people earning less than £15,933.
It’s estimated there are approximately 14,000 households living in fuel poverty where they have to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on fuel bills, ie gas and electricity.
Councillor Lowry added, “I'm delighted to say we had a lot of interest in these sites from large organisations and smaller construction companies. Now we have signed the deals with the developers and I look forward to seeing work begin on the schemes as soon as possible.”
Delivering these affordable homes will secure £4 million in government grant.
Clive Turner, Chief Executive of Plymouth Community Homes, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to re-develop the site at Southway and further our work as Plymouth’s largest social housing provider, creating sustainable communities.
“We are excited to work in partnership with Plymouth City Council and contribute to Get Plymouth Building and the Plymouth Plan for Jobs while continuing our commitment to deliver high quality, mixed tenure developments.”
Andy Mitchelmore from AJM Building Design Ltd said: “We are looking forward to working with Plymouth City Council in developing brownfield sites for much needed affordable housing, using local contractors and suppliers for local people. We are a specialist in the design and delivery of sustainable housing in the south west. Our scheme design at Mount Gould Road, on the site of the old Astor Community Centre, will help tackle the issue of fuel poverty by using the latest green technologies to reduce heating costs.”
The Get Plymouth Building programme is also part of the Council’s Plan for Jobs which aims to create more than 2,000 jobs over the next two years. The programme is unlocking the land for development and supporting job creation both directly in construction and indirectly in the supply chain of businesses. There are also wider economic benefits of new housing developments in terms of helping to attract skilled people and boosting inward investment.
The 10 sites of Council land are:
- Former Ernesettle community centre, Extra care housing for older people 40 units, Aster Housing Association
- Former West Park Primary School, 45 homes, Linden Homes
- Former Southway Primary School, 140 homes and the re-provision of sports pitches and changing rooms, Plymouth Community Homes
- Former Woodlands and Hillside School, 70 homes, Sanctuary Housing Association
- Former Tamerton Vale School, 90 homes, Galliford Try/Devon and Cornwall Housing Association
- Former Astor Centre, 12 homes, AJM Building Design/Oakley
- Former PLUSS site, 17 homes, Westward Housing Group
- Chaucer Way site, 120 homes, Linden Homes
- Former Plym View Primary School, 51 homes, Spectrum Housing Group
- Mannamead Centre, 27 homes, Pillar Land
21 February 2013