Housing Minister Mark Prisk today (22 May 2013) announced a £32 million injection of funding for the new town of Sherford, near Plymouth, that will bring forward the delivery of 5,500 new homes and help create 5,000 local jobs.
Despite plans for the new community being adopted in 2007 with widespread local support, progress has stalled.
After years of delays the government’s intervention will now kick-start construction of new homes and a host of community facilities for the South Hams district, including 4 schools, a new town hall, a sports centre and community park.
Business boost for Devon
The development will deliver a powerful boost to the local economy. Over the next 15 years the development will generate £1 billion of construction investment and inject a further £2 billion into the local area.
Today’s announcement is the latest allocation of funding, earmarked by the Chancellor in last year’s Autumn Statement, for the delivery of at least 50,000 new homes in large, locally-supported housing programmes.
The investment in Sherford will bring the total number of homes unlocked through the programme to 41,000. This intervention builds on the deals made for a 6,300-home site at Cranbrook near Exeter, a 6,000-home site at Fairfield near Milton Keynes, and a site for over 22,000 homes at the Eastern Quarry development near Ebbsfleet in Kent. A further £234,000 of funding for the Cranbrook development was also announced today, to help local partners deliver the project.
Mr Prisk said the large sites programme shows the government is making strong progress to boost housebuilding.
Housing Minister Mark Prisk said:
This government is determined to get Britain building again. That’s why we have carefully selected large, planned housing schemes that already have the support of local people, but need help to move forward.
Sherford is the fourth site to receive support, and brings the total number of homes unlocked through the large sites programme to 41,000. Our intervention will also create thousands of jobs and inject billions of pounds of investment into the local economy.
We have set aside considerable funding to assist large housing programmes like Sherford, and over the coming months we will continue looking at other schemes that would benefit from our support - that means more investment, more jobs for our young people and more affordable homes for families across the country.
The funding programme for planned, large-scale sites, administered by the Homes and Communities Agency, is being targeted at schemes that could deliver real benefits to their communities, but are struggling to move forward.
Further reaction to the funding support for Sherford
Home and Communities Agency Executive Director for the South and South West Colin Molton said:
The new community of Sherford is an incredibly important project, because it will go a long way towards meeting the significant need for new homes in Devon and Plymouth and provide a major boost for the economy.
It is a complex development, which has taken years to bring to this stage. It is fantastic news that investment has been approved which will support the development of the sustainable new community of Sherford. I look forward to seeing work start on the project soon.
Red Tree Partner James Koe added:
A great deal of determination, commitment and, of course, funding is required to deliver a project on this scale and with this ambition. Red Tree has always held firm to the principles of good design and responsible development embedded in the vision for Sherford.
With the added delivery capability of some of the most able house builders in the country in Taylor Wimpey, Bovis Homes and Linden Homes and the explicit support of the government in providing this funding we can all now start the process of delivering on these ambitions.
The funding is the vital catalyst to the commencement of the development and this is exciting news for Sherford and for the local economy.
Plymouth City Council Leader Tudor Evans said:
This is tremendous news. This heralds the start of a project that will bring much-needed new homes and new jobs to Plymouth.
Sherford has been on the horizon for a long time and goes back to the 1990s. It’s 1 of the 3 areas identified in our growth agenda for development and I’m delighted that the Homes and Communities Agency are awarding funding for thousands of homes and a new community to help this city fulfil its potential.
There is much to do, but it’s great news to finally get off the starting blocks. We’ve all been in training for a long time for this.
For every home built, 1 and a half permanent jobs are created. This is not just good news for the construction industry, it’s good for the wider supply chains and the businesses and shops that will all begin to see new customers as this new community begins to take shape.
South Hams MP, Gary Streeter:
The government intervention to unlock the Sherford deadlock is most welcome. At the moment, our children and grandchildren in the South Hams, Plympton and Plymstock cannot afford to remain living in this area. These quality homes will provide much needed homes for them, especially the affordable ones.
Councillor John Tucker, Leader of South Hams District Council, said:
This is welcome news as we have worked very hard with the local community and the developers for some time now to plan for a high quality new development.
We now hope that the government loan to the developers will kick start the scheme and lead to much needed homes in the South Hams and jobs for local people.
The community of Sherford will be a new market town built in the South Hams in Devon, between Dartmoor and the south Devon coast.
- 5,500 new and affordable homes
- 83,000 square metres of offices, retail units and other employment space
- 3 primary schools and a secondary school
- community facilities which would include a new town hall, youth centre, health centre, library, sports centre with swimming pool
sports pitches and a 200 hectare community park
The investment from the Homes and Communities Agency would be used to support:
- new roads and transport infrastructure which would unlock an area used to deliver the first new homes
- the provision of utilities (gas water and electricity) to support the first new homes
stringent ecological measures to protect wildlife and plants, including new areas for species of bat, replacement of hedgerows and ongoing monitoring by environmental specialists