New affordable homes in West Devon helping to hit housing targets
13 July 2022
West Devon Borough Council has revealed that the number of affordable homes being built across the area is keeping numbers above targets laid out in the Joint Local Plan.
Since 2018, 161 new affordable homes have been delivered across West Devon. Tavistock's three new housing developments have provided 84 of those (38 at Embden Grange, 29 at The Tors and 17 at Broadleigh Park).
These 161 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 Borough's main source of new affordable housing, which is providing solid numbers of new homes for local people.
The Joint Local Plan between West Devon, South Hams and Plymouth has set targets for delivering affordable housing across the entire area; thanks to these developments, the number of affordable homes built in the "Towns and Thriving Villages" area across West Devon and South Hams is 82 above where it would be expected to be at this moment in time.
Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: "Seeing the numbers of new affordable homes being delivered across the Borough is encouraging; combined with our colleagues at the South Hams, it's also good to see that Joint Local Plan targets are being met.
"Working with partners like LiveWest and Vistry will hopefully see these numbers increase even further in the years ahead, helping to alleviate housing issues further.
"West Devon Borough Council is doing everything in our power to help and our range of initiatives, like the Tenants' Incentive Scheme, is helping to tackle the problem step by step, but it's a gradual process that takes 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."
As The Tors development on Callington Road goes through each phase of construction, even more affordable homes will come to the market. Through the use of Homes England money and partnership working between Vistry, LiveWest and the Borough Council, there will be a total of 174 affordable homes being constructed, a percentage of 23% of the whole development. The ongoing plan is for subsequent phases of the development to also over deliver and grow that number even further.
Council projections estimate that 99 affordable homes will be built across the Borough within the next two years. This number could increase if developers work with Homes England to deliver more affordable homes than the S106 required, as being demonstrated at Callington Road.
From 2018 to 2024, it's estimated that 1,525 new units of new build affordable accommodation will have been delivered in the "Towns and Thriving Villages" area. This significantly exceeds the JLP target to deliver 2,050 units by 2034, given there are 11 years remaining.
While new housing is just one facet of the housing crisis, these numbers support the Council's ambitions in tackling the crisis with a better than expected delivery programme.
Innovative initiatives like the Tenants Incentive Scheme and the Seamoor Homes letting agency are also tools the Council is using to try and ease the housing problems faced by West Devon residents and make the best use of existing housing.