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, 24 November 2016


At last the new town of Sherford is rising from its muddy foundations. I visited on Friday and it was great to see the houses and flats springing out of the ground.

I know there has been some controversy about the prices of the first properties to come onto the market. It was always the case and is spelt out in the 100-plus page agreement with the planning authorities that the developers were allowed to build and sell 300 houses on the open market before they build any "affordable" houses. So these will be coming sometime next year. The local media knew this very well, but still made a song and dance about it. Shock.

Over the next 20 years roughly 800 affordable homes will be built for rent and to buy for local people. This will make a huge difference to young couples and others waiting patiently for their first home, either currently living with mum and dad or paying rent to a private landlord. As I keep saying I bought my first house when I was 23, not unusual in those days. Now the average age for a first time buyer in Devon is 38. We have a generational crisis and have to build our way out of it. Still 85% of people aspire to own their own homes and why should they be denied?

Of course affordability is not just a matter of special schemes, but of supply and demand. For the past three decades there has been too much demand and not enough supply, pushing prices up. The solution is to build more and that is what we are doing. Of course in the right place. Sherford is the right place.

The new road into Sherford is very attractive and I understand that the developers are going to complete the highway link to Deep Lane sooner than expected to provide a second access point, even though houses will not appear up that end for some time.

The road infrastructure at Stanborough Cross seems to be working well and fingers crossed that the Deep Lane improvements will be just as smooth-running when complete. The people of Plympton have been heroically patient whilst those works are being carried out.

So far the developers at Sherford have built according to the design plans. It will be an attractive environment and a great place to live, with many amenities. Hopefully our children will enjoy living there.

posted by Gary @ 10:18