Widegates Scheme Opening and Rural Seminar Event

11/03/2013
Mark Kaczmarek, Portfolio Holder, Cornwall Council, officially opened a stunning new affordable Hastoe housing development, called Shortacross View, in Widegates, on Monday.

Widegates
This is the first housing scheme that Hastoe has developed in Cornwall.

It was an even bigger occasion as Hastoe welcomed guests to a seminar on rural innovation after the opening.

Shortacross View was built on a Greenfield development in one half of a field belonging to Mr. Harding, a local farmer. The scheme tenure mix is five open market, five social rent, five intermediate rent and five shared ownership homes.

The Parish Council and Cornwall Council were in full support of the scheme, which is a rural exception site development, meaning that priority for the affordable houses is for local people now and in the future. Hastoe and Trand (UK) Ltd have started to work in an informal partnership on delivery of a programme of schemes in Cornwall (possibly extending to Devon).

The affordable homes have achieved Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and the open market units have achieved Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3. The affordable houses have sustainable features including solar thermal panels producing hot water, as well as air source heat pumps which power under floor heating systems.

One resident, Zoe Scragg, a shared owner, said: “The house is lovely; we’re so pleased with it. We wouldn’t have been able to get a foot on the property ladder without it.”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for housing and planning Mark Kaczmarek said: “I was delighted to open this high quality development and to see how the £200,000 financial contribution from Cornwall Council has been used to provide local homes for local families.  I want to pay tribute to the parish council and the community for supporting the planning application and to the Hastoe Group who are specialists with skills and experience in building rural housing.

“Cornwall Council is committed to rural housing schemes and projects such as this which use the Council’s pioneering approach to cross subsidy - permitting open market homes on small exceptions sites to fund the provision of affordable homes and reduce the use of public subsidy – will be part of our approach in delivering over 900 rural homes in East Cornwall.”

Kevin Hartnett, Business Development Director at Hastoe said: “We are delighted to have delivered these much-needed homes for the community, where local private rents and home ownership can often be out of reach for some families. We are pleased to have opened our first scheme in Cornwall and hope there will be many more to come. At Hastoe, we can deliver homes that people can afford, we invest in people and communities and we are in it for the long-term.”

The purpose of the following seminar, entitled ‘Rural Innovation in a Changing Environment’ was to share learning from a range of expert speakers and organisations and generated debate on how high quality affordable homes can continue to be built for rural communities.

The seminar examined funding models, landowner incentives and technological innovation, providing a springboard for fresh ideas. The impact of the Government’s recent announcements on housing and the impact on rural provision was also considered.

The event, hosted by Margaret Clark, Hastoe Chairman, with speakers Matthew Dodd, Policy and Information Manager, Homes and Communities Agency; Kevin Lavery, Chief Executive, Cornwall Unitary Council; Simon Conibear, Estate Director Dorchester and Poundbury Development Manager, Duchy of Cornwall and Kevin Hartnett, Business Development Director, Hastoe, was a great success.

With support from the Homes and Communities Agency and Cornwall Unitary Council, the homes were completed in December 2012.

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