National Award Win For Plymouth Partnership Project

Devon & Cornwall Housing has been recognised with a regional award after winning the What House? Sliver Award for Best Brownfield Development for its Evolve development in Devonport Plymouth.

The What House? Awards, now in their 31st year, are the most prestigious and longest established New Homes awards. The judges look not just at the quality, design and range of homes, but sustainability initiatives, home buying assistance schemes, and customer care too.

Evolve is a partnership project with Westco Properties, Devon & Cornwall Housing’s development arm and Linden Homes, working with  Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Community Homes and the Homes and Communities Agency

Evolve demonstrates how successful regeneration can be achieved, even in a challenging economic climate, by superb collaborative working between the partners involved. The site, which replaced rundown flats that formerly occupied the site with attractive new homes is transforming a deprived inner city area of Plymouth and breathing new life into the community. The project, centred on Ker Street in Devonport, is a significant part of the ongoing redevelopment of the area.

Tony Franklin, Head of Business Investment, Devon & Cornwall Housing, said: “Evolve is a big scheme with a big social agenda. It is breathing new life into an historic area, helping to create vibrancy and boost the local economy. We’re delighted by this prestigious award win and see it as recognition of the design excellence and collaborative working that were the founding principles of the project.

“Evolve is being celebrated for its significant contribution to the regeneration of Devonport. It’s far more than just housing. We are working with local people to support and regenerate confidence, economic growth, jobs and community wellbeing.”

“The regeneration has been tailored to meet the widest range of households, incomes and residents’ aspirations. By ensuring that the community has had a very real input into the project, significant community gains have been established. As a result, a strong sense of community ownership and civic pride has been re-established.”

Brian Deacon, Sales and Marketing Director for the south west at Linden Homes said: “Our award for urban renewal at Evolve, Plymouth, is a good example of how we are playing a part in breathing life back into Devonport, which is fast emerging as a vibrant part of the city. The development has attracted an eclectic mix of residents, keen to take advantage of its attractive location in partnership with Westco Properties.”

“Features such as tall windows and vaulted ceilings have added to the apartments and coach houses, providing spacious, light filled, contemporary homes that are efficient and affordable, within the reach of the city centre. The development also houses the grandeur of Devonport’s Guildhall an imposing 18th century building, now a centre for arts and events adding to the community spirit of the new neighbourhood.”

Following demolition of the old blocks of flats for social rent, work started on site in 2008 and Evolve was formally launched in 2009. Construction is in three phases. Phase 1 is complete, and fully sold. Phase 2 is expected to be completed by 2013 and Phase 3, subject to planning consent and funding approval, by 2016.

The first two phases comprise 188 new homes in a mix of one and two bedroom apartments and two and three bedroom houses. The scheme is tenure-blind, with 83 of the homes provided for private sale and 105 for shared ownership or private rent. At the start of the project, the partners demonstrated their creativity and drive in overcoming the difficulties in the housing market by re-planning part of a block of flats for sale into 12,000 sq ft of office space for Devon & Cornwall Housing’s new Plymouth headquarters; this both strengthened the project and helped to boost the local Devonport economy.

Tony Franklin Head of Business Investment, Devon & Cornwall Housing and Bill Cawse Build Manager for Linden Homes.
Tony Franklin Head of Business Investment, Devon & Cornwall
Housing and Bill Cawse Build Manager for Linden Homes.

–ENDS–

For more information, please contact Mia Bartlett, Communications Coordinator (Press and PR), Devon & Cornwall Housing, at mia.bartlett@dchgroup.com or on 01392 814583.

21 December 2012

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