12 July

Jen's joy at buying first home in her 50’s

An affordable housing development in Dulverton has brought happiness to one couple’s life.
Jeniffer and her new 3 bed shared ownership home

Married couple Jeniffer and Andrew Pooley have expressed their joy at finding happiness in finally owning their own home in their 50’s.

Having spent the past 30 years living in private rented accommodation the couple were overjoyed to discover that they were able to get a mortgage on a shared ownership property in rural Dulverton.

Jeniffer Pooley said: “After so many years of renting we didn’t think at our age that shared ownership would be available to us, especially not somewhere as beautiful as Dulverton. We feel so lucky to be so near our two grown up sons who live locally, with enough room in our new detached three bed home to have our grandchildren over to stay.”

She added: “The whole process of shared ownership was really smooth, it might seem unusual at our age to be going to the bank for a first mortgage but for us it was the right time and when we could afford it and we are over the moon with taking that leap. We are loving having extra room for our dog who is enjoying the garden, we can walk into the town within 10 minutes but are in such a quiet rural location.”

Jeniffer works two jobs, at a local car sales room as a receptionist and as a secretary for a friendly society whilst husband Andrew works for a local removals company. The couple have lived in nearby Crediton for the past 10 years and were quick to find out more information as soon as the LiveWest shared ownership homes were advertised. 

Barnes Close Mead is a new scheme which provides 18 affordable homes – six for shared ownership, six for social rent and six for affordable rent. A number have a local occupancy tie, meaning they must be lived in by someone with links to the area.

LiveWest is set to build 758 homes in rural areas across the South West over the next two years.

LiveWest has invested more than £33m in rural homes during the last financial year having built 219 homes in rural areas.

The total is made up of 87 homes built in Cornwall, 67 in Devon, 43 in Somerset and 22 in the West of England.

In the next 12 months, LiveWest is planning to develop 56 homes in Cornwall, 116 in Devon, 180 in Somerset, eight in the West of England and an additional 10 in other areas.

It means around a third of LiveWest’s development programme centres around rural housing.

The South West’s largest housing association, LiveWest, teamed up with Woofenden Construction to deliver the homes in Dulverton.

Sally Bryant, Senior Development Manager for LiveWest, said: “‘We are delighted to have worked with Woofenden Construction for the first time to deliver 18 high quality homes for Shared Ownership and Rent in the rural parish of Dulverton. 

“We are extremely pleased to have offered these beautifully presented homes to local people. This development comprises of one, two and three-bedroom homes to accommodate a range of family sizes. 

“A few features of this development include Air Source heating system, contemporary looking exterior all situated within a scenic location, not far from Tarr Steps in Exmoor National Park. 

“It has been great to see this stunning scheme come together and we hope the residents moving into these properties will be extremely happy here.”

Air Source heat pumps are designed to draw air from outside and convert it into heat which transfers to radiators inside the property.

They are generally cheaper to run, better for the environment and do not need any fuel storage.

The development benefitted from grant-funding from government housing agency Homes England and LiveWest worked closely alongside Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) and Exmoor National Park Authority to develop the site and support those applying for a home under the National Park’s local occupancy tie policy.

Cllr Fran Smith, Executive Member for Housing at SWT, said: “Affordable housing is vital for the survival of our rural communities and forms a key part of our corporate strategy to increase the number of affordable and social homes in our urban towns, rural and coastal communities.

“This superb development has enabled local people from Dulverton and surrounding villages to stay in the area in well-built and economical properties that will remain affordable into the future.  

“I congratulate LiveWest and Exmoor National Park on this successful development.”

Steven Pugsley, Chair of Planning at Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “Congratulations to the occupants of these new homes, who we hope will find much happiness in being able to stay living locally in one of the country’s finest rural landscapes. 
 
“The generally higher cost of housing in national parks can put a squeeze on people being able to live near work and family. To help, our planning policies are geared to ensure new affordable housing is built where we know the need is greatest, with an appropriate amount ringfenced for local people.
 
“Thanks to grant funding from Somerset West and Taunton Council, we’re also fortunate to now have a dedicated rural housing enabler working in the Somerset part of the National Park to achieve a pipeline of new affordable homes and support custom and self-builders locally.
 
“We hope this will lead to more successful partnerships like this one with Live West and Somerset West and Taunton, to help deliver quality, affordable homes exactly where they are needed.”
 
David Coombes, Operations Manager for Woofenden Construction, said: “As a family run business based in a small rural village, we understand the importance of providing both affordable and quality accommodation for families. 

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with LiveWest to deliver a project of this nature.  

“The idea of providing quality, sustainable & affordable housing in areas such as Dulverton is an excellent example of what can be achieved.  

“Working in Exmoor National Park has been a tremendous pleasure and I hope the new residents appreciate the beautiful surrounds as much as we did.”
 

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