LiveWest set to build 712 rural homes in next two years

LiveWest set to build 712 rural homes in next two years

A leading housing association is set to build 712 homes in rural areas across the South West over the next two years.

In a week when the housing sector celebrates Rural Housing Week — a yearly event organised by the National Housing FederationLiveWest has demonstrated its commitment to rural housing by building 508 rural homes in the past two years.

LiveWest has invested close to £44m in rural homes during the last financial year having built 264 homes in rural areas. The total is made up of 47 homes built in Cornwall, 67 in Devon, 132 in Somerset, eight in the West of England and an additional 10 in other areas. In the next two years, LiveWest is planning to develop 176 homes in Cornwall, 218 in Devon, 302 in Somerset, 15 in the West of England. It means approximately 33% of LiveWest’s development programme sees homes delivered in rural areas.

The NHF’s Rural Housing Week takes place 4th to 8th July to promote the work housing associations are doing in rural towns and villages across the country. It aims to shine the spotlight on the investment housing associations are making in rural communities and the role it plays in offering a lifeline to local people in our market towns and villages. This year’s theme is ‘levelling up rural communities’, which will highlight the many ways housing associations are working to support the levelling up agenda in rural areas.

Gareth Jones, Development Director for LiveWest, said: “It is great to be able celebrate rural housing and the vital role it plays in helping to sustain communities in rural areas. At LiveWest, we are committed to strengthening and supporting rural communities by creating access to excellent affordable housing. We know the huge difference that affordable homes make to local people in rural areas when they want to stay in an area for work or family reasons.

“Housing associations have a key role to play in supporting local communities coupled through providing homes that people love to live in. We are committed to supporting all our communities, including those who live in rural areas. Over the past two years, we have delivered over 508 homes in rural locations in the South West. We are committed to increasing the supply of affordable rural housing in our towns and villages and to contributing positively to a thriving countryside.”

LiveWest’s development at Ashburton

In Devon, a number of affordable homes have been completed in Ashburton – marking the first development in the small rural town in 22 years.

LiveWest teamed up with Dartmoor National Park Authority, Teignbridge District Council, and local developers Coyde Construction to develop a scheme for 39 affordable homes in the town. Work started to develop the four-acre site in March last year and some of the homes are now completed with residents preparing to move in during August.

The development includes a range of homes, from one to four-bedroom properties, including a two-bedroom bungalow which will be specifically built for a wheelchair user. The development is a mix of properties: 25 homes for social rent and 14 homes for shared ownership. The development, due to be completed by the end of the year, benefits from Homes England grant funding.

Jake and Robyn Laskey

Jake and Robyn Laskey, both 25, who are currently renting a small flat with no garden, have just secured one of the social rent homes on the development.

Robyn, a mother-of-two, said: “It’s going to really improve things for us and change our lives. Especially for our eldest daughter who has been asking Santa for a garden for the past five years. This is going to have such a positive impact on all of us.

“The houses are just so beautiful. We’ve got two daughters and they are desperate for a garden and the gardens here are so big — they couldn’t be better. So, we couldn’t be happier with being able to move to this development.

“LiveWest has been fabulous I couldn’t fault them. Everyone has just been really good. The quality of the homes is amazing. They’re so much better and bigger than we thought they would be. They look so good they’re a really good addition to the town.”

In Cornwall, the 100% affordable homes project in Blackwater is close to being completed, with some residents set to move in over the summer. LiveWest partnered with Classic Builders to develop a mixture of shared ownership and rental homes for local people.

The scheme has a local connection criterion to the Parish of St Agnes, which means many of the homes will be owned or rented by people already living within that area. In total, there are 17 homes for affordable rent and 11 for shared ownership.

Lucie Sominka, Development Manager for LiveWest, commented: “This is a stunning development, proving very popular with local people. It is a 100% affordable housing to rent or purchase as shared ownership.  We are looking forward to welcoming customers into their new homes. Blackwater also represents one of LiveWest’s objectives, to continue to provide affordable homes in rural areas.

“Cornwall’s rural economy relies on residents who live near to their place of work.  Good quality affordable and secure housing is therefore very important, and to ensure that these communities continue to survive and thrive, and not become winter ghost towns.

“This development is a very good example of a rural high value, where there is an enormous affordability gap. These affordable homes help to address that gap and ensure that people can still rent or own a home at a price they can afford.

“We hope that these new affordable homes will help to tackle the housing crisis in Cornwall, and help more local people find good quality homes, close to their friends, family and workplace.”

LiveWest’s development at Lympsham in Somerset

In Somerset, LiveWest teamed up with EG Carter to complete 20 homes in the stunning rural village of Lympsham. Having started construction in November 2020, residents have moved into the homes which are made up of 12 outright sale, six affordable rent and two shared ownership.

Helen Prettejohn, Development Manager for LiveWest, said: “It has been a positive experience to collaborate with our neighbours, village residents, parish and district councils. The 8 affordable homes constructed on our behalf by EG Carter have provided an opportunity for local Lympsham residents to rent or part buy homes in the village.

“The scheme has several mitigation and enhancements in terms of ecology, such as bee bricks, hedgehog highways, bat and bird boxes and habitat piles. The landscaping also includes a range of native grasses and hedgerows that support various species of wildlife.”

Jason and Rhonda, with their two children Emily, 11, and Brian, 14, have moved into their ‘dream home’ in Lympsham.

Rhonda, a primary school teacher, said: “We were so excited when we heard about the new development. As soon as we knew when it would be we went out to have a look at it. When we had the dates for moving in, we were ecstatic. Then to actually be able to get in the house and just to wake up and sort of see those views in the morning it’s just been amazing.

“We love the house, and we couldn’t have wished for anything better. I’m never moving again in my entire life. Lympsham is just a lovely little village, it’s just a chocolate box village. The community are just so welcoming. From the minute we moved them, we felt like we were part of the community.”

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