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South Hams exceeding new build affordable homes targets
South Hams District Council’s determination to do everything in their power to ease the area’s housing crisis is paying off, with hundreds of new affordable homes being built over the last four years.
These 419 homes are requirements of Section 106 agreements; these planning obligations with a landowner are made as part of the Council granting planning permission. S106 agreements are one of the strongest tools that the Council has to make new housing developments deliver on affordable housing. This is the District’s main source of new affordable housing, which is providing incredibly high numbers of new homes for local people.
Homes England Strategic Partnership funding has led to an additional 54 properties being delivered during 2020-22, over and above what the Council was expecting. This funding allows a Registered Provider to purchase open market homes and convert them to affordable properties.
The numbers of affordable homes being built are tracking well above what the Joint Local Plan requirements would be at this moment in time.
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “One of my main priorities is to do everything I can as Leader of this Council to help overcome this housing crisis. Seeing the numbers of new affordable homes being delivered across the District is hugely encouraging.
“The number of new build affordable homes is significant and we are pleased that we are providing well above what was anticipated in the Joint Local Plan.
“We’re heading in the right direction, though we recognise that there is some way to go to overcome the issues around housing in the South Hams.
“As a Council, we are completely dedicated to doing everything in our power to help and our wide range of initiatives is tackling the problem step by step, but it isn’t going to be easy and it will take time.
“If you would like to find out more about the schemes we’re putting in place to help ease the housing crisis, please do get in touch.”
There have been a number of success stories across the District in the last four years.
One of those is at the Palstone Meadow development in South Brent; when the development received planning permission, only 14 out of 40 homes were going to be affordable. Through the use of Homes England money and working in partnership with Vistry and LiveWest, all 40 homes will now be affordable homes.
For the first time in a generation, the Council is also building its own affordable homes. 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. 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.
The future is looking bright too - projections suggest another 352 affordable homes will be delivered to the South Hams through Section 106 agreements in the next two years. There will also be an additional 90 homes delivered at Sherford - Registered Provider Clarion will use the Strategic Funding from Homes England to deliver more affordable homes than the S106 requirement.
While these numbers are hugely encouraging, the Council knows that building new affordable homes is just one facet of tackling the housing crisis. Innovative initiatives like the Tenants Incentive Scheme, the Seamoor Homes letting agency and the Step On Grant are also tools the Council is using to try and ease the housing problems faced by South Hams residents and make the best use of existing housing.
To find out more about the Step-On Scheme, visit:
To find out more about the Tenant Initiative Scheme, visit:
For information on SeaMoor Homes, visit: