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District Council Builds Houses for First Time in a Generation

For the first time in a generation, South Hams District Council is building its own affordable homes for local people.

Turf Cutting St Ann's Chapel

This is another step in the plan to tackle the housing crisis facing its residents in the South Hams.

To mark the start of the building works, Councillors attended the official turf cutting event in St Ann's Chapel, near Bigbury, where the homes will be built.

The severe shortage of affordable rented and shared ownership accommodation, particularly in coastal areas like St Ann's Chapel, resulted in the Council declaring a housing crisis. 

Eight affordable homes will be built at St Ann's Chapel. They will be high quality, energy efficient homes and will be low cost to heat and run. Air source heat pumps and low water use fittings form part of the design, along with electric car charging points. With the current energy crisis, this will be great news for future tenants to keep their bills low and manageable.

The development will be funded by the sale of three open market houses at the development, Section 106 contributions, Affordable Housing Earmark Reserve funds, Homes England grant funding and Public Works Loan Board borrowing.

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: "We're thrilled that for the first time in a generation, we can deliver our own affordable housing for local people. These eight environmentally friendly homes are being built to help our residents who are struggling to get much-needed homes. The homes are energy efficient and economical to run, which is of course important in terms of both running costs and the environment.

"This is just one of the avenues we are following in the direct action we promised to tackle the housing crisis. We know there is much still to do and we are committed to finding ways to help to reduce this issue for our residents.

"The success of these schemes is helped enormously by the great working partnerships with local community groups. By working together we can develop much needed homes which match local housing needs."

When the properties are completed, they will be advertised through Devon Home Choice. If you are a local resident and interested in the properties, please register at:

Classic Builders are the contractors employed to build the houses.

Giles Staines, Contracts Manager at Classic Builders, said: "As a company, we are extremely excited to be constructing the first new affordable housing in many years for South Hams District Council. We're delighted to be working closely with the Council and cannot wait to deliver these houses for the people of the South Hams."

In photo: 

  • Giles Staines, Contracts Manager from Classic Builders,
  • Issy Blake, Head of Housing at South Hams District Council,
  • Tom Morris, Specialist, Community Housing at South Hams District Council,
  • Sharon Smith, Bigbury Parish Council,
  • Ian Bramble, Bigbury Parish Clerk,
  • Valerie Scott, Bigbury Parish Council,
  • Cllr Bernard Taylor, SHDC,
  • Cllr Hilary Bastone, SHDC,
  • Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of SHDC,
  • Mac Muzuimwe, Arcadis,
  • Andy Bates, SHDC Chief Executive.

Published on 04 May 2022

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