A new housing development which will offer affordable housing and a property that has been specially adapted for a mother who is a double amputee, is nearing completion.
The Maple Walk site at the former Plym View Primary School in Efford, which is being developed by Spectrum Housing Group and Kier Living, will offer 50 two and three bedroom houses. Of these, 24 will be affordable and built to the Code for Sustainable Homes level 4, with the additional aim of helping address fuel poverty.
The development is on land previously owned by Plymouth City Council and forms part of the Get Plymouth Building initiative. The Council has also provided a Disabled Facilities Grant to adapt one of the affordable homes for a family in exceptional housing need. The adapted house will be fully wheelchair accessible, with a level access shower (wet-room) and through-floor lift, giving access to the first floor.
Emily, who is a double amputee and has three children aged three, five and 18, said: “This new house will make a massive difference to not only my life but the rest of my family.
“We have literally been living in one room with my small children, and because where we live is not wheelchair accessible I have to rely on my partner all the time.
“I will be able to live much more independently in the new home. I have been past the new development with my kids and they are all very excited about it as well.
“There is definitely a need for more wheelchair accessible and adapted housing and we really can’t wait to get in our new home.”
It is hoped that Emily will be able to move into the property in mid-April. The first of the affordable homes will be complete later this month.
The Council’s Capital Investment Board recently approved an additional £100,000 to be spent on Disabled Facilities Grants for people living in Plymouth, on top of the £800,000 already being spent this financial year. The move means an additional 30 homes in the city will have a number of improvements, including grab rails, stairlifts and level access bathrooms.
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives, Housing and Community Safety for Plymouth City Council, said: “This new development provides some much needed affordable housing and it is fantastic that Emily will finally get a home that is suitable for the needs of her and her family.
“Times are tight but we know how much of a difference these kind of adaptations can make, and it is essential that we do all we can to enable people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible.
“As part of our Plan for Homes we aim to provide up to 1000 new homes every year for the next five years to address the housing shortage, and this development will assist us with this. There are currently 11,000 people on the housing register awaiting housing.
Jitinder Takhar, Group Director of Development at Spectrum said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring back to life an old school site and provide our first mixed development scheme in Plymouth under our Spectrum Premier Homes brand. The 50 new homes will be for rent, shared ownership and open market sale, meeting the different needs of the local area. Working with Plymouth City Council, and in particular with Councillor Penberthy, we are pleased to have been able to provide an individually designed home for Emily and her family and look forward to seeing her move in soon.”