Cranbrook gets £20m more to speed up home building
Housing Minister Mark Prisk has announced a £20 million investment to speed up the construction of 6,300 homes at a new town development.
Mark Prisk yesterday paid a visit to the new Cranbrook settlement in East Devon where he promised the multi-million pound investment would help safeguard the housing needs for future generations and pledged that the funding would help ensure young people could afford to remain living in the region.
It is anticipated the injection of funds will accelerate construction of 6,300 homes from 300 a year to 500, provide 1,500 jobs in the town, and a help deliver a new £4.5m rail station.
The announcement yesterday is the first allocation of £225 million earmarked by the chancellor in his Autumn Statement for the delivery of 50,000 new homes in large, locally-supported housing programmes across the country.
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Mr Prisk, the MP for Hertford and Stortford, said the funding would "unlock" the delivery of thousands of homes and jobs in the Westcountry, preventing under-35s from being forced to move elsewhere in search of more affordable housing and employment.
Mr Prisk told the Western Morning News: "We've got to be able to make sure the next generation can afford to live in the Westcountry and not be forced to move elsewhere.
"By putting £20m in place we are helping to unlock those developments such as Cranbrook which have become stuck.
"Over the past 20 years only half of the homes needed in the UK were actually built, but this Government has already made progress towards addressing that problem."
Cranbrook, which is the first major new settlement of a town in Devon since the Middle Ages, has been designated by the Government as a key project to boost economic growth.
Some of the money will be used to deliver roads and infrastructure needed to develop a new town centre, while the rest will be used to support the building of new schools.
East Devon District Council, Devon County Council, Exeter City Council and private sector group Cranbrook Partners are behind the scheme, which has already completed its first phase.
Will Mumford, Devon County Council's cabinet member for economic and strategic planning, said: "Cranbrook is an exemplar development. Not only are we building homes, we're also creating jobs- all in a sustainable environment with a community approach.
"Some 40% of the homes in the town will be affordable, which very few developers can say they manage. It's a strong model."
Pete Edwards, Exeter City Council leader, said: "It's good news for Exeter in terms of social housing, infrastructure and jobs. It's win, win, win for the city."