We plan to build more than 600 homes in rural areas across the South West over the next two years.
Our pledge comes as we celebrate the National Housing Federation’s #RuralCommunitiesTogether which seeks to promote the work housing associations are doing in rural towns and villages across the country.
It aims to shine the spotlight on the investment housing associations are making in rural communities and the role they play in offering a lifeline to local people in our market towns and villages.
Last year we delivered around 400 homes in rural areas, underlining our commitment to providing good-quality, affordable homes to communities across the region.
Our Head of Delivery, Robert Cock, said: “It is great to be able celebrate rural housing and the vital role it plays in helping to sustain thriving rural communities.
“At LiveWest we are committed to strengthening and supporting rural communities by creating access to excellent affordable housing.
“We know the huge different affordable rural homes make to local people who want to stay in the area in which they work or have family links.
“Housing associations have a key role to play in connecting local communities coupled with providing homes that people love to live in.
“Over the past year we have delivered over 400 homes in rural locations in the South West and we are stepping up our delivery.
“We need to challenge the sector to increase the supply of affordable rural housing and contribute positively to ensuring a thriving countryside.”
LiveWest has been working on a number of new housing schemes in rural areas across the region.
In Uffculme, Mid Devon, we are half-way through phase one to deliver 60 homes in what is the first major housing development in the village for 20 years.
We have completed 35 of the 60 homes and 33 of those homes are now occupied with a majority of the remainder of the homes on course for completion by the end of this year.
One of the main aims of the scheme is to provide affordable homes for local families who would ordinarily be priced out of the area.
We will also shortly start on phase two of the development which will deliver a further 30 homes, with a mix of six for affordable rent, four for shared ownership and 20 for open market sale.
Our Senior Development Manager, Leon Harris, said: “We are delighted with the continuing success of this project, the first major housing development in the village of Uffculme for over 20 years.
“LiveWest’s commitment to rural housing has led to a successful application for planning for a further 30 homes which we are excited to be starting this year.
“In total across the two phases we will be providing 31 low-cost homes supporting many local families that would be otherwise priced out of the area to stay within their community.
“Alongside the homes we are also providing large green open-spaces for the residents, a large financial contribution towards schooling in Uffculme and we have worked with the highways authority to provide new bus shelters and reduce the speed limit along the main road to make it a safer environment for all.”
In Dulverton, West Somerset, our Barnes Close Mead development will provide 18 affordable homes - six for shared ownership, six for social rent and six for affordable rent.
Construction work is now back underway following lockdown and it is hoped the development will be completed in October.
We have recently completed a new housing development in the village of Pucklechurch, South Gloucestershire, which has delivered 11 rental and 27 shared ownership homes.
It follows another development that we completed in April 2019 which provided eight flats and 12 homes for affordable rent.
Our News Business Manager, Chris Dawson, said: “The new homes at Pucklechurch have breathed new life into this beautiful rural community.”
In Cornwall we teamed up with Burrington Estates to develop 26 affordable homes in the tranquil village of Trispen.
The scheme was completed last month and provides 18 homes for affordable rent and eight for shared ownership.
Our Development Manager, Lucie Sominka said: “Trispen Meadow is an attractive development within the main village of Trispen in the St Erme Parish.
“The scheme has a traditional look of Cornish housing using within the design, painted render, slate and stone with generously sized gardens and parking.
“The scheme includes an element of affordable homes for local people to rent or purchase as shared ownership, and continued provision of affordable homes in rural areas is important for the community to continue to survive and thrive.”
Elsewhere in Cornwall we have helped to provide six homes for affordable rent and four for shared ownership as part of a 20-home development by Stevens Homes on the edge of the village of Marhamchurch.
Development Manager for LiveWest, Jon Julian, said: “Marhamchurch is a very attractive village located close to Bude, and the scheme made particularly good use of natural materials that helped it blend with the village.”
We also have a 100% scheme of 17 rental and seven shared ownership homes under construction at St Stephen. The development is set to complete in September.