Plymouth has been confirmed by the Government as one of 30 local authorities to ‘spearhead’ the starter homes scheme.
The Government announced a £1.2billion Starter Homes Land Fund and Plymouth City Council has been chosen as a partnership authority because of its strong track record of delivery, and potential for early delivery of starter homes.
Starter homes aim to help first-time buyers between the ages of 23 and 40 onto the housing market, with a discount of at least 20 per cent below market value. The Starter Homes Land Fund was set up to prepare suitable land for quality starter home developments which can be built on by developers. The aim is to unblock stalled sites and accelerate housing construction in the next 4 years.
Plymouth City Council, has already started work to prepare a number of sites for starter homes, including the former Whitleigh Community Centre, and has acquired Colin Campbell Court, Bath Street and land at Prince Maurice Road for potential development. Under the Plan for Homes 2016-2021, Plymouth aims to build more than 5,000 new homes by 2021 and we are currently on track to deliver. Earlier in the year the Council submitted a £25.7 million Starter Homes Expression of Interest showing how it could potentially deliver around 1,036 homes, of which 548 would be starter homes.
Leader of Plymouth City Council, Councillor Ian Bowyer, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Government has shown faith in Plymouth’s ability to build much needed new homes for hard working young people. It will support the Plymouth Plan and our aim to deliver thousands of new homes for the people of Plymouth. We are prioritising development on brownfield sites and stalled sites.
“We are committed to ensuring more people in the city have a place they can call home and the starter homes will help younger first time buyers to get their foot on the housing ladder by being able to buy a brand new home at a discounted rate.”
Councillor Patrick Nicholson, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council and Cabinet Member for Strategic Housing, Transport and Planning, said: “We have worked closely with the Homes and Communities Agency and have already one of the country’s first starter homes sites being developed on the site of the former Whitleigh Community Centre.
“By being named as a Starter Homes Partnership Authority, Plymouth City Council will lead the delivery of a portfolio of sites across the city which will make a real difference to local people in need of housing. We now need to get on and deliver.”