Clinton Devon Estates and Taylor Wimpey forced to halt construction at Plumb Park Exmouth due to foundation problem

“Construction work has been halted in one area of a new homes development site after foundation issues were discovered.

Work began on the Clinton Devon Estates and Taylor Wimpey’s Plumb Park development in Exmouth back in November 2017 with planning permission granted for 264 new homes. Work is expected to finish by the end of 2022.

However, it has emerged one plot – which is currently unoccupied – has foundation issues, but it has not been confirmed what they are.

Taylor Wimpey have stated the plot will not be sold until investigations are complete, or until any subsequent remedial work is carried out to the foundation.

The developer is currently is working closely with consultant engineers to carry out ongoing ground investigation works in the vicinity of affected plot.

It means construction work has been postponed in the area while those investigations take place.

Taylor Wimpey confirmed there are no issues in any occupied homes.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “We are investigating a foundation issue that relates to one unoccupied plot at our Plumb Park development.

“This issue was identified as part of our ‘pre-construction testing of ground conditions’ on subsequent plots, and as part of our stringent quality checks. We can confirm that no occupied houses nor any public areas are affected.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/work-stopped-taylor-wimpey-homes-2573195

“COUNCIL TO BORROW £200 MILLION FOR PROPERTY SPECULATION – CHIEF EXECUTIVE BARS COUNCILLORS FROM TALKING ABOUT IT

East Devon District Council is controversially set to borrow £200 million to purchase property. The Council Cabinet agreed its Commercial Investment Framework, which would allow it to do so, on 6 February.

However many EDDC councillors have great concerns about this strategy. As a result, a Notice of Motion (NoM) was tabled by Councillor Roger Giles (Independent – Ottery Town) to be debated at the EDDC full council meeting on 27 February. The NoM was submitted in time, and was supported by more than the required number of other councillors.

However the EDDC Chief Executive Mark Williams struck the NoM off the agenda, on the grounds that the matter had already been discussed at the Cabinet meeting on 6 February.

“The EDDC Cabinet consists of just 10 councillors, and is Conservative controlled” said Roger Giles.

“The investment strategy would massively increase the council`s indebtedness, and is inherently risky. I therefore considered it essential that the whole council should be able to have a full-scale debate, and vote on the strategy.”

“However the Chief Executive has intervened to ban my NoM from being included on the agenda paper. By doing so I believe he has damaged our democratic processes – an action which is deeply regrettable.”

Another developer pleads poverty – can’t afford to build affordable housing (lol)!

Councillors said they were horrified they were being asked to ‘give away poor people’s right to a house’.

Last month, Teignbridge District Council’s planning committee approved a scheme that will see 10 new two and three-bed apartments built on the site of the Neilston Retirement Hotel in Woodway Road, but only if an affordable housing contribution of £86,431 was provided.

But an independent viability appraisal confirmed that a contribution that large would mean that the development would not be viable and that they would not be able to proceed.

The application went back before planners on Tuesday morning and they voted to accept the recommendation of the planning officer that an affordable housing contribution of £37,500 was requested.

Had the application been totally policy compliant in terms of a 25 per cent affordable homes or off-site contributions for Teignmouth, then developers would have been asked for a total liability of £172,863.

Cllr Alistair Dewhirst said: “I am horrified that we could just give away poor people’s right to a house and I couldn’t possibly support it. I don’t think what is there now is special but what they are proposing looks like Colditz to me.”

Cllr Jackie Hook added: “Last time we were content with the application and were happy to see these new apartments built and we compromised in favour of a contribution of one affordable unit.

“The applicant’s appraisal identifies a developer’s profit of £228,280, so we should ask for £50,000, not the £37,500, and they will hardly notice the difference.”

Cllr Dave Rollason added: “A £228,000 profit is a lot of money. The need for affordable housing is massive and it is unfair that we are taking money from the pockets who need it most and giving it to developers.”

She added: “You either have to accept the independent advice over viability, or refuse the application.”

Cllr Phil Bullivant said it would be very difficult to go against the professional advice given and he could not see the evidence to go against it.

Cllr Dennis Smith, chairman of the committee, added: “We asked for this report and now seem to want to just be ignoring what it says. The viability statement says that £37,500 is fair, so I don’t see how we can argue about it.”

The proposal of Cllr Hook to increase the contribution required to £50,000 was lost, and then councillors voted by 14 votes to three to approve the application with an affordable housing contribution of £37,500.

The scheme would see the demolition of the existing building and the construction of a three storey apartment building containing 10 new two and three-bed apartments, plus 18 car parking spaces and two double garages.

Councillors had previously been on a site visit and raised no objections to the principle of the application, with Cllr Charlie Dennis said that the building has deteriorated, is past its best and at present it is a ‘sad thing to see’.

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/theres-busy-homeless-camp-exeter-2565711

“Housing developer forced to scrap ‘misleading’ ads targeting first-time buyers”

“One of Britain’s largest housing associations has been forced to scrap an advertising campaign that implied its shared ownership scheme was equivalent to home ownership.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled Notting Hill Genesis – which owns 55,000 properties in London and the south-east – misled consumers by comparing its scheme in contrast with renting.

A slogan on its ad said: “I own a two-bedroom apartment and pay less per month than my friends pay to rent a room in a flatshare.”

But the ads were promoting the group’s shared ownership scheme, where homeowners only technically own a slice of the property and pay rent to Notting Hill in respect of the rest. …”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/housing-developer-forced-scrap-misleading-ads-targeting-first/

“New “affordable” housing in Devon is anything but, investigation reveals”

“Most new “affordable” housing in Devon is anything but, a major new DevonLive investigation has revealed.

Affordable housing is an umbrella term used by the government to describe lower-rent properties that are available to eligible households unable to afford the full market rate.

This includes both traditional social rent housing – which is similar to what most people know of as council housing – and “affordable rent” housing, which was first introduced in 2011/12.

Social rent is based on a formula that combines local wages and local property values, and typically sees rents set at around 50 per cent of private rents in the same area.

“Affordable rent”, however, is capped at 80 per cent of the full market rate – meaning that in many areas it will still be out of the reach of people on low incomes. …

… Some local areas see “affordable rent” housing dominate more than others. In Mid Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and West Devon, 100 per cent of new affordable housing was “affordable rent” rather than social rent last year.

Meanwhile, in East Devon the figure stood at 97 per cent, in Torridge at 67 per cent, and in both North Devon and Exeter at just 13 per cent.
In Plymouth the figure also stood at 100 per cent, while in Torbay they made up 58 per cent of the total.

In comparison, the national average saw 81 per cent of new affordable housing built or acquired across England in 2017/18 classed as “affordable rent” rather than social rent.

The most common type of affordable housing found in Devon is general needs properties managed by private registered providers, such as housing associations.

These cost an estimated £86 a week on average for a social rent property, compared to £121 a week for an “affordable rent” property – meaning “affordable rent” in Devon is typically 42 per cent higher, or £1,854 more a year. Private renters in Devon pay an estimated £150 a week, on average.

Kate Henderson chief executive of the National Housing Federation said: “In 2010, the government stopped funding social housing altogether, and announced it would only fund homes for “affordable rent” instead.

“This left housing associations in a really difficult position where they had to choose between building homes for “affordable rent” or building nothing.

“In the face of a dire housing shortage, many housing associations chose to build affordable rented homes, but continued to argue that social housing shouldn’t be neglected.

“While affordable rents do work for some people, there are many more who desperately need social housing.

“In 2017, the government announced some new money for social housing for the first time in seven years, but this is nowhere near enough.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/property/new-affordable-housing-devon-anything-2543061

“New home owner in Exeter fumes over frustrations with Redrow”

“A disgruntled new home owner has spoken of his frustration at still waiting for his warped front door to be replaced after more than a year and having to contend with many other issues in his property.

Jamie Leaman moved into a two-bed house in Bishops Court – a housing development next to Sandy Park, Exeter – in July 2017 with his partner and their 12-year-old daughter.

Problems which have had to be corrected include a ‘leaky oven’ which had to be replaced and caused damage to a fitted kitchen cupboard; missing plasterboard tape which means joins are now visible; the back door handle had to be replaced because it was loose and had issues with the locking mechanism; and an incorrectly fitted bath panel has required replacing.

In January 2018, Jamie, 42, reported to Redrow he had a problem with his front door, and is still waiting for the issue to be resolved. Redrow have responded saying they are working with him to come to a resolution. …”

Jamie, who lives in a shared ownership property, claims there are also many other residents who live in Bishops Court who have also encountered problems with their homes.

He said: “There is a Bishops Court Facebook forum page where quite a few people have complained about Redrow. Someone said they wished they have never moved here. It doesn’t seem to matter if you live in a shared or full ownership home; the problems are the same. …”