New £4.1million housing development opens in Barnstaple

Pictured at the official opening of St Joseph's Close in Newport are Eric Bunting of Leadbetter, Mi

Pictured at the official opening of St Joseph's Close in Newport are Eric Bunting of Leadbetter, Mike Santon of Sanctuary, Councillor Mike Harrison and Richard Keeley of Sanctuary. - Credit: Archant

The 36 property St Josephs Close at Newport is made up entirely of affordable housing.

A new £4.1million affordable housing development in Barnstaple has been officially opened.

The 36 properties of St Josephs Close are made up of apartments and two to four bedroom family homes.

The Sanctuary Group is offering 27 of the properties as social housing, with another nine available for shared ownership, while two of the large four bedroom houses have also been adapted for families with disabilities.

On Wednesday, representatives from Sanctuary and contractor Leadbitter, a Bouygues UK company, declared St Josephs Close officially completed. Also in attendance were Councillors Michael Harrison and Faye Webber from North Devon Council.

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Some new residents have already moved in to the development, which has a communal play area and green space that anyone may use, as well as construction of a new footpath and cycle way linking to the national cycle network.

“Josephs Close shows our ongoing commitment to providing housing to those who need it most and also represents the important work we are doing for local communities,” said Mike Santon, Sanctuary’s head of development for the South West.

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District ward member Mike Harrison said he wanted to thank Sanctuary for making the development affordable:

“I think this is the optimum plan,” he said.

“If you saw some of the conditions people are living in with rented accommodation and the prices they pay, you would change your mind if you were of the opposite opinion on social housing.”

Completion has taken far longer than anyone expected, with a lengthy planning process to determine the demolition of the former St Josephs Nursing Home to build houses.

Several residents objected when sanctuary later announced all the homes on the site would be ‘affordable’.

Cllr Faye Webber, NDC’s executive member for housing, added: “My job really becomes worthwhile when I see people who have been waiting for so long on the housing list finally move into their new homes. We had a lot of opposition to this development but now the scheme is complete, it is very satisfying to know that we have helped so many families.”

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