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Milestone reached as promise of 1,000 new homes for Cornwall’s residents is delivered

 

Cornwall Council has delivered on its promise to provide 1,000 new homes throughout Cornwall. 

The 1,000th home to be completed has been built by Vistry Partnerships, in partnership with Cornwall Council and LiveWest at the former Penwith Council office site at St. Clare in Penzance. The property is a three bedroom house for shared ownership and is currently being marketed for sale by LiveWest, to eligible households.   

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for homes Andrew Mitchell said: “Four years ago, our commitment to provide 1,000 quality new homes to meet the different needs of our residents was at the top of the list of priorities.

“We’ve put in the hard work, planning, funding and resources to make sure we delivered and enabled quality homes – including a large amount of social and affordable housing – and have created a model to continue delivery on an even larger scale over coming years.”   

The Council has worked with local housing associations, town, parish and local Cornwall Council councillors and partners to provide solutions to local housing need.

'The need is real' with 12,000 families on Homechoice register

Andrew said: “Some homes are for social rent and shared ownership in our Housing Revenue Account, which is what used to be known as council housing. We’ve built 112 new homes in the HRA since 2017 and we are currently on-site building or in contract to deliver a further 144, with 21 in the planning system. 

“Others are for secure long-term market rent or for open market sale through our partnership company, Treveth. We have also worked in an innovative partnership with Vistry and LiveWest through the Homes for Cornwall initiative and provided our own grant funding to local registered providers to further increase delivery of affordable housing.  

“All of this means that this council has delivered on its commitment to provide a range of homes to suit the needs of families in Cornwall. 

“But this is just the beginning. We’ve put resources in place and committed to an ambitious programme of over 1,700 new affordable homes, mainly for social rent and shared ownership, by March 2028.  With 12,000 families on the Cornwall Homechoice register looking for a home, the need is real.” 

“We’ll continue to work hard to safeguard the assets of our beautiful Duchy - the landscape, the environment, the heritage – and balance those considerations with the need to provide new, good quality homes for our residents.” 

'We have peace of mind'

Emma moved into one of the Council’s new social rent homes with her young family and explains: “I was bidding on Cornwall Homechoice because my rent was too high where I was privately renting. This house is much nicer, and the area is nicer too with more children for mine to play with.” 

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Naomi who, with her family, moved into a four-bedroom home for affordable rent on a site delivered in partnership with Vistry, LiveWest and Cornwall Council said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to stay in the village. We need four bedrooms, and this house is ideal. We’re all really excited. We’ve made it our home and we’re really happy with it.” 

Caroline and her husband moved into a new home in Poundstock, built by Cornwall Rural Housing Association and says: “Our quality of life has improved drastically... we have peace of mind knowing that we can be here for as long as want.  It’s our forever home and we love it.” 

Andrew added: “All affordable homes to rent are allocated to households that have a strong local connection to Cornwall, either through residency, ex-residency, employment or close family connection – we don’t build homes for other local authorities to house their residents.” 

There are also schemes which have been delivered in partnership with the Council’s Adult Social Care team to help the most vulnerable in our communities.  Two specialist schemes have been built by the Council for adults with Learning Disabilities in St. Austell and Penzance, with a planning application submitted for a third scheme in Launceston. 

The Council has set up Treveth to develop new housing mainly for private rent.  So far 113 quality new homes at Bodmin and Tolvaddon have been completed with a small number of plots for open market sale, and self-build.  Twenty-eight high-quality flats were also completed in Newquay just before Christmas and 46 homes are currently under construction in Liskeard. A second phase of development in Bodmin is scheduled to start before the end of March and construction is also due to start shortly on sites in Redruth, Newquay and Launceston. 

The Council has worked with Vistry and LiveWest to provide homes for open market sale, affordable rent and shared ownership on surplus Council land throughout the Duchy.  This is known as the Homes for Cornwall initiative, and has been hugely successful – approximately 52% of all homes have been provided as affordable housing across the programme.  Homes have been built at Shortlanesend, Madron, Wadebridge, St. Breward, two sites in Penzance and Marazion.   

One of the Council’s other innovations is its own direct funding programme for Registered Providers, over and above Homes England’s national Affordable Homes Programme. Since inception, nearly £50m has been invested or committed in three phases.  The most recent began in April 2019, with an allocation of £15.1m of grant funding to deliver affordable homes throughout the Duchy.   

Andrew said: “Through all these initiatives, and a handful of others, we’ve delivered on our promise to provide 1,000 good quality homes and have created a model to continue delivery on an even larger scale over coming years. 

“We know that Cornwall needs more homes – both to rent and to buy. We must continue to rise to the challenge and seize the initiative to provide a range of homes to improve choice for residents and to meet their housing needs.”