The South West housing association LiveWest is building 74 new affordable homes across two former school sites in Exeter.
Last June Exeter City Council gave the 38,000-home landlord the go-ahead to build 43 homes at the former Exwick Middle School and 31 homes at the former Foxhayes School, both in the suburb of Exwick.
LiveWest is working with local contractor Classic Builders to deliver the new homes, which will comprise a mix of social rent and shared ownership homes.
The 18-month project will be supported by Homes England grant funding through its strategic partnerships programme.
Nicola Heagarty, development manager for LiveWest, said: “We are delighted that works are underway on these two sites which have stood vacant for many years.
“There will be a mixture of rental and home ownership options and these new homes will form a high quality and sustainable affordable housing development.
“Thanks to the grant support from Homes England, we are able to deliver this development as 100% affordable housing, contributing to the growing need for affordable homes across the city.”
The two former school sites became available for development after the nearby Exwick Heights Primary School opened in 2008.
To protect the environment, the two developments will benefit from dedicated ecology areas, bird nesting boxes and the retention of mature trees on site.
The developments will retain as much of the natural environment on site as possible, while LiveWest has also pledged to reduce carbon emissions on site by 10%.
Each site will create new pedestrian and cycle routes with the aim of reducing reliance on cars. Solar PV panels and electric car charging points will also be installed to reduce LiveWest’s carbon footprint.
Heagarty added: “The sites are steeply sloping and benefit from fantastic views and a mature natural environment. Our approach has been to work with those aspects to create new compact communities nestled in nature.
“We have some fantastic mature trees to work with and will dedicate ecology areas on each site to create protected spaces for the wildlife that we know visit these sites.
“Because we will remain the freeholder and manager of the completed developments, we have the opportunity to manage and maintain this environment for future generations.”
Lewis Tolputt, business development manager for Classic Builders, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be working with LiveWest in delivering these two exciting projects.
“The redevelopment of the former Exwick and Foxhayes School sites will not only provide additional high-quality homes for local residents but also valuable social and economic opportunities for nearby businesses.”
LiveWest provides over 38,000 homes to over 80,000 people across the South West. The housing association plans to build 6,000 homes in the region over the next five years.
Image: A CGI of LiveWest’s Exwick development. Credit: LiveWest.