May 27, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

Building of new energy efficient Council homes in St Agnes gets underway

Cornwall Council’s plans to build 11 new social-rented bungalows for older people on land in St Agnes have taken a major step forward with the first turf being officially cut on the site. 

The specialist properties, which will be available to people with a local connection to the area, are being built in the grounds of the existing sheltered housing scheme at White’s Close in the village.  

The scheme is being led by Cornwall Council, with project management and commercial support from MWJV, as part of its commitment to providing affordable high-quality homes in Cornwall where people and communities can thrive.   

Working with Classic Builders, the new single storey homes will include an open plan kitchen, dining and living area with a double bedroom and study, and will be energy efficient, heated using air source heat pumps. 

Tackling current housing pressures is a top priority for Cornwall Council.   

As well as building more council homes for local people to rent, the authority is also working hard to:    

  • Provide modular homes to provide temporary and emergency accommodation so local people can be housed without worrying about being asked to leave at a moment’s notice 
  • Buy existing homes to use as social housing 
  • Support the provision of affordable homes by housing associations for local people to rent or buy       
  • Ensure sites deliver affordable housing through the planning process      
  • Unlock the potential for town centres to be regenerated to provide more housing      
  • Support community-led organisations that want to deliver their own homes      
  • Offer loans to bring empty homes back into use  
  • Enable communities to stop new builds being snapped up by would be second homeowners. 

Group of people stood on a field

Welcoming the start of construction on the White’s Close scheme, Olly Monk, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for housing and planning, said that the high-quality homes had been specially designed to meet the needs of older people.   

“We want to provide homes that meet the needs of our residents and communities. This includes providing good quality homes of all kinds to support the different needs of local people.

“These new bespoke bungalows will enable these residents to stay in their local community and we will be looking to provide similar projects for older people in other areas across Cornwall.” 

The Council has worked closely with the local divisional member Councillor Pete Mitchell, the parish council, existing residents of White’s Close and the wider community to ensure the scale of the development, as well as the design and construction of the properties, is sympathetic to the area. 

Councillor Mitchell said: 

“I’m thrilled that we are adding to the facilities already at White’s Close. These 11 bungalows will provide high quality homes tailored to the needs of their residents. 

“The building of these homes may cause some disruption to local people living nearby and I am working closely with officers to minimise this.  I have asked that a cycle way and disabled access path is provided which will mean that any school children walking from the library car park can get to school without crossing a road.”

Construction of the 11 bungalows is expected to take up to 12 months to complete, with the first residents moving into their new homes in October 2023.  

Olly Monk added: 

“We are delighted to be working with Classic Builders to deliver this fantastic scheme.” 

David Pengelly, for Classic Builders, said:

“We are committed to delivering safe and environmentally conscious homes within Cornwall and are proud to have been appointed to deliver this important project for Cornwall Council. With renewable energy sources and being highly insulated these new buildings will be cost effective to run and provide much needed adaptable homes for the local community.”  

As well as providing the 11 new bespoke bungalows, the scheme will also include improvements to the wider White’s Close development, with a new paved footpath and cycle route along the eastern edge of the site and new railings, trees and landscaping in and around the communal gardens. 

Story posted 13 October 2022