Plans for a new market town near Plymouth have taken a major step forward following the formation of a group of housebuilders and the formal consolidation of the land into that consortium.
Planning permission was granted in November for the new 5,500-home Sherford community five miles to the east of Plymouth city centre, and the consortium has now taken control of the 1,200-acre site.
Sherford will now be constructed by Red Tree, the project founder, and a consortium of developers including Taylor Wimpey, Linden Homes and Bovis Homes.
The project has been supported with an investment of up to £32m from the Homes and Communities Agency to enable key infrastructure and community facilities to be delivered. The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community has created a design code to which future planning applications will be judged, helping to ensure the design aspirations for Sherford.
Sherford spokesman, James Koe, says: “We are delighted to have completed the transfer of all land to facilitate delivery by this very capable consortium, which is a significant milestone in the life of Sherford.
“A tremendous amount of work has gone into ensuring that Sherford is sustainable – this means that it must be delivered commercially, it must be a place that people want to live in and must not only survive but thrive.
“To achieve this Sherford has been designed around the best qualities of successful towns that have been in the south west of England for centuries, while ensuring that all the benefits of current know-how are applied to its delivery. We are now finally able to get onto the site and start realising the vision we have been planning for the past eight or more years."
A spokesman for the consortium of developers added: “This is a tremendously exciting time for Sherford and we are delighted to be involved in the development of this outstanding new community. The delivery of high quality new homes, places to work and infrastructure to support its occupants will commence later this year.
“We look forward to working with our partners and the Planning Authorities to create an attractive destination that residents and visitors alike can enjoy.”
Colin Molton, HCA Executive Director for the South and South West, said: “This vitally important development will make a huge difference in meeting the need for new and affordable homes in Devon and Plymouth and provide a major boost to the South West’s economy.
“After years of work by partners to get to this stage, this is going to be a big year for Sherford. I am looking forward to seeing work starting on site soon.”
The consortium of developers will be working with the local planning authorities over the coming months on the details of the project, before construction work starts on site later this year.
Sherford is located in primarily in South Hams, a few miles from Dartmoor to the north, while to the south is the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its magnificent coastline.
Sherford will comprise 5,500 new homes, from one-bedroom apartments through to five-bedroom houses, with at least 550 of the first 2,750 homes being affordable housing.
Designed as a traditional Devon market town, Sherford will have a town centre with a high street and market square and three neighbourhood centres. These are designed to enable access for residents to work, shopping, schools and extensive open space and recreational facilities within a five-minute walk of their homes. Residents will have the benefit of sending their children to one of the three primary schools and a secondary school.
The town will boast a wide range of shops and businesses, a community park, a library, a youth centre, a health centre, a children’s centre and a place of worship. A sports centre will include a swimming pool, plus very extensive playing fields, including sports pitches, pavilions and children’s play areas.
A strong focus on the quality and energy performance of the buildings will offer the opportunity to lower energy demand and reduce homeowners’ energy bills, as well as those of businesses within the community. The development will include site wide and neighbourhood renewable energy generation which will further support the community’s energy needs.
The design of the place will encourage walking and cycling. Much of the daily needs of residents will be within easy reach without the use of cars, while the high quality bus service will make access to Plymouth City Centre easy, swift and cost effective.
When complete, Sherford will be home to more than 12,000 residents, with retail and commercial areas expected to support at least 5,000 new jobs. The creation of hundreds of jobs in construction over the lifespan of the development will provide a substantial boost to the wider local economy.
For more information about Sherford, visit the website www.redtreellp.com.
Two artist’s impressions of the proposed Sherford
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20 March 2014