by Jackie Hook on 21 February, 2020
One of the Lib Dem’s top manifesto commitments was to deliver more “genuinely affordable housing” and to build on brownfield sites . I’m pleased to report that our first social rented housing schemes are about to be delivered. This week the Planning Committee at Teignbridge District Council unanimously passed a planning application for 5 social rented flats at the vacant site next to Teign Cellars in East Street. Also passed was a scheme for 2 social rented houses in Drake Road , Buckland on an underused garage site. Both proposals are on land owned by Teignbridge Council. This is the first of what I hope will be many affordable housing schemes that we as a Council will deliver. The houses and flats represent the chance for us to fundamentally change for the better the lives of those local residents that will live in them.
The flats in East Street are on a long term vacant brownfield site. It has been vacant for at least 10 years. The Conservatives failed to bring forward a scheme in all that time.
This will be an exemplar scheme that will provide new life chances to 5 households, couples or individuals. The units will be let at a social rent which is 60% less than market rent (as opposed to affordable rent which is only 80% of market rent). That will make a significant difference, to affordability.
The 2 ground floor flats are accessible. There is a noted lack of accessible affordable dwellings and these flats will be a life line to those that will be able to move from inappropriate accommodation, for them to start a new life here. The flats and houses they move from will then be available for other households on our housing waiting list, thus setting off a chain of opportunity for many, to move to better suited accommodation.
There are 3 further flats giving a total of 5, all at social rent. They will all go to local people with first priority to residents living in Newton Abbot already.
The 2 ground floor accessible flats each have a parking space, each provided with electric charge points. The flats will be low carbon, built to a fabric first approach, highly insulated, and heated by an air source heat pump and with solar panels on the roof.
This scheme aims to demonstrate that it is possible to build both affordable and low carbon housing, albeit this is supported by a social rent grant from Homes England to make it viable. It is hoped that builders will be on site in April this year, to start work on this much wanted and truly life transforming housing scheme. Exactly the sort of housing we should be building.
The second scheme at Drake Road, will provide 2 x 3 bed houses, again at social rent, with the same low carbon build quality, air source heat pumps and solar panels. Replacement public car parking has been incorporated into the scheme to replace the 4 garages that were used by local residents , thus retaining the current parking status quo in the area.1 Comment