Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 22 October 2015


After years of a "phoney war," development on the new town at Sherford is now well and truly underway. Nobody travelling between Plympton and Plymstock in recent weeks can be under any doubt about that. I am assured that once the road connections into the building site are complete, disruption to existing roads will be reduced to a more manageable level. Just as well as the build time is likely to exceed fifteen years.

The highway network between our two eastern suburbs of Plymouth will never be the same again. Haye Road, Vinery Lane, the Plympton/Brixton road (always busy) will all be changed for ever. Three massive lorries have recently got stuck in Fore Street Plympton St. Maurice, despite signs telling them not to go that way. This is being urgently addressed. There will be other disruptive challenges yet for the local community to face.

We have to keep reminding ourselves why this new town is so vital. The average age of a first time buyer is now 38. Many of us bought our first home in our early twenties, almost unimaginable now. The percentage of young Brits who aspire to home ownership has not changed - about 85% of us do. I constantly meet young couples and single people who want to live in Plympton/Plymstock or the South Hams who would love to stay where they were brought up but simply cannot afford to do so. And they want to buy, not rent.

The real problem is supply and demand is out of kilter. Fuelled by all of us living longer, more families sadly splitting up and to a lesser extent in our region, immigration, we simply do not have enough houses to meet demand. As a consequence prices rise. It is basic economics.

The only long term solution is more supply. But can we do this without wrecking our wonderful environment? We can and we must.
When complete, Sherford will be a very attractive place to live and will complement our existing suburbs. Many of our children and grandchildren will live there. It will have a substantial community park on its eastern boundary, a green barrier between the edge of the city and the rolling beauty of the South Hams.

In addition to more supply, the government's targeted Help to Buy and other schemes will open up the benefits of home ownership for hundreds of local youngsters.

Disruption, yes, but we are doing the right thing.

posted by Gary @ 09:21