Profits from the housing on the site will be ploughed back into building more homes in the area says North Devon Homes

An aerial concept view of the Anchorwood Bank site. Picture: Woodward SmithAn aerial concept view of the Anchorwood Bank site. Picture: Woodward Smith

The start of work on new homes at Anchorwood Bank in Barnstaple represents a new way of tackling the housing crisis in North Devon.

Speaking at the official ceremony on Friday to start works for 172 new homes on the site, Martyn Gimber, chief executive of North Devon Homes said it was a new way of working for the charity.

Not only was it providing the houses, but all profits from the site will be ploughed back into providing more affordable housing elsewhere in North Devon.

He said: “We have more than 2,000 people on the waiting list right now and lots of people in temporary accommodation waiting for new homes.

How the Western Piazza in the new Anchorwood Bank site could look. Picture: Woodward SmithHow the Western Piazza in the new Anchorwood Bank site could look. Picture: Woodward Smith

“This site will create more than 500 jobs and really be an investment in North Devon.

“When North Devon Homes decided to purchase the site we wanted the regenerated area to become a real community asset, in which local people could share the economic and social benefits that the regeneration of the site will bring. We did not want to see just a private developer build on the site and take all the profit out of the area.

“Anchorwood Bank is the largest single regeneration project ever undertaken in Barnstaple with an onsite investment of £60 million.”

The scheme will create 172 new homes comprising 135 for open market sale and 37 affordable properties.

How the new Anchorwood Bank riverfront will appear when finished. Picture: Woodward SmithHow the new Anchorwood Bank riverfront will appear when finished. Picture: Woodward Smith

The housing will be developed in five phases over the four year span of the build programme, and new homes are estimated to be ready for people to move in from early 2019.

The homes at Anchorwood Bank have been designed by Woodward Smith architects and will be built by Pearce Construction.

A variety of homes will be available ranging from one bedroom apartments to large five bedroom houses.

The site will include piazzas and a central park with seating and greenery.

In addition, Pears Investments will build seven retail units with Next, DFS, Chiquito and Frankie and Benny’s already agreeing and confirming terms for occupation.

The retail and restaurant units are estimated to be completed by the end of this year with a likely opening date of Easter 2018.

The ‘turf cut’ ceremony on Friday was attended by councillors and dignitaries, including North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones.

He said: “This is so significant for the whole of Barnstaple and North Devon and goes beyond what is being done here.

“This will kick start the provision of homes right across North Devon and is vitally important not only for those that need the housing but also the economic investment going into the area.”

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