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PR – Development of former Mannamead site will provide affordable and energy efficient homes

Work is about to start on a new development of nearly 30 homes on the site of a former community centre, including affordable and energy efficient homes.

The development of the former Mannamead Centre at Eggbuckland Road will offer 29 new houses including 13 affordable homes using the RentPlus model which provides tenants with a new way of eventually buying their own home. The site is being developed by Pillar Land Securities Ltd and the new homes will exceed energy requirements. It will be the first RentPlus site in Plymouth and one of the first in the country.

Plymouth City Council brought the site forward for housing development under the Get Plymouth Building programme. All the homes are to be built to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and renewable energy will be generated by solar photovoltaic panels. 

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives, Housing and Community Safety for Plymouth City Council, said: “The site at the former Mannamead Centre forms part of our Get Plymouth Building programme which aims to help increase and accelerate the delivery of new and greener homes in the city. 

“It also provides much needed affordable housing in the city. Compared with the national picture we have lower levels of owner occupation and higher levels of private renting in Plymouth. Many young people are still finding it difficult to buy their first home in the city, with the average age of first time buyers now around 37. In Plymouth, 40 per cent of households earn less than £20,000 a year, while the cheapest homes in the city cost an eye-watering 6.3 times the lowest salary. 

“I was particularly impressed by the approach by the applicants, Pillar Land Securities, to engaging and consulting with local residents throughout the planning application process. 

“Housing is unaffordable for people on low incomes, there is not enough affordable housing to meet rising demand and in response to this we have worked with RentPlus to help first time buyers get onto the housing ladder. We have agreed to work together with RentPlus in Plymouth to deliver 500 homes over the next five years. This development at Mannamead is a significant first step to help deliver on this ambition.” 

The development will also include 20 per cent of the houses as Lifetime Homes, with design features to enable people to remain in their own homes should their mobility and physical circumstances change. 

Rentplus Chief Executive, Richard Connolly, continued: “We are delighted to be working with Plymouth City Council to deliver an exciting new model of affordable housing. Rentplus homes are designed to provide the opportunity for aspirational families to purchase their Rentplus home with a gifted deposit after an initial period of affordable rent. 

“Never have house prices been so expensive and never has the requirement for a deposit been so great. Rentplus provides a pathway to home ownership allowing tenants to live in a new energy efficient home and have a hope of saving a deposit from taxed income. 

“Our homes will be managed by Tamar Housing Society to ensure excellent local customer service to tenants aspiring to home ownership.” 

Pillar Land Securities is a well-established development company covering the South West. Richard Pillar, Chairman said: "We are delighted to be commencing works on this very exciting project. Hartley Gardens will provide a beautiful collection of 29 high quality contemporary homes built to a high specification in the heart of Mannamead. We are proud to be delivering the first 13 Rentplus homes in Plymouth enabling first time buyers the opportunity to take their first steps on the housing ladder."

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