The council has partnered with local developer Triple D Construction and is in the process of acquiring 67 homes on the site, for social rent (also known as ‘council housing’), or shared ownership which enables eligible buyers (normally first-time buyers) to purchase a home with a small mortgage, and rental top-up.
Keys to six of the shared ownership properties have now been handed over to Cllr Olly Monk, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for housing and planning. He was joined by Cornwall Councillors John Conway and Adam Paynter, Mayor of Launceston, Cllr Leighton Penhale, and Launceston Town Cllr John Harris, alongside representatives from the Council’s housing delivery team and contractors that have worked together to deliver the scheme.
“There is a huge shortage of affordable homes for people in Cornwall” said Olly Monk, “We are facing a serious housing crisis and are taking direct action to provide homes for people that need our help.”
Completion of these latest six houses follows the handover of 36 homes, a mix of two-and three-bedroom homes for social rent and shared ownership, that the Council have completed on since agreeing to purchase the homes in late 2020.
A further phase of four-bedroom social rented homes and a mix of two, three and four bedroom homes for shared ownership are expected to be ready later in 2023.
The site also provides homes for open market sale – and in the coming years a new primary school will be built.
This scheme is part of our ‘council housing’ development programme which, in this instance, combines a grant from Homes England with Council funding to buy open market homes to be provided as affordable housing. All 67 homes would have been open market homes without the Council’s involvement.
The Hay Common scheme was the first large strategic housing acquisition made by the Council following the lifting of borrowing restrictions by the Government.
The Council has gone on to secure similar homes at West Carclaze Garden Village near St Austell where it has bought 130 homes for either social or affordable rent, or shared ownership. Another 55-homes for social rent and shared ownership have been acquired in Padstow. This is in addition to the work the Council is doing to once again directly build homes itself.
“By buying new homes for social rent we are ensuring that they are available to local people who need them,” said Olly Monk. “Providing shared ownership homes means we are also helping people to take a first step on the housing ladder.
“We want to deliver many more homes like these and are continuing to work with partners across the housing market to achieve this”.
The scheme has been welcomed by Cornwall Councillor John Conway, the local member for Launceston South, who said: “There is a desperate need for more affordable housing in Launceston. I am regularly contacted by people who are sleeping on sofas or don’t have a home at all. Every additional home is a real bonus to our local community – we all deserve to have a roof over our head and this scheme is helping to provide that”.
Cornwall Councillor Adam Paynter, the local member for Launceston North and South Petherwin, added “It is great to have these houses made available in Launceston, we have a huge need for all types of housing in and around the town and this scheme will make a real difference”.
The Mayor of Launceston, Cllr Leighton Penhale, said: “We have so many young people who are working in vital areas such as schools, care, hospitals and hospitality in Launceston who are unable to live in the local area. They need homes that they can afford, and this is what Cornwall Council’s scheme is providing.”
Michael Davey, from Triple D Construction, said: “Hay Common Developments are proud to be part of the provision of new homes, helping to battle the housing crisis we are seeing not only locally, but nationally. It has been great to work alongside Cornwall Council to deliver these new homes and we look forward to working alongside them again in the future.”
Information about the Council’s shared ownership properties which are currently available at Hay Common can be found here Tackling current housing pressures is a top priority for the Council.
“This project is a fantastic example of how we can meet local housing needs in a sustainable way.” said Cllr Monk. “I would like to thank everyone involved that has helped make this project a success, including our dedicated housing delivery team at the Council – as well as our partners at Triple D and the community that have welcomed our intervention in the local area.
“We look forward to delivering similar schemes in the coming months.”