Work starts on Tolgus housing project

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Work is getting underway on 185 low carbon new homes at Tolgus, near Redruth, with most available as either private rented or affordable homes for people with links to the area.

The scheme, called Gwel Bassett, is being developed by Treveth, the partnership set up by Cornwall Council to build homes and commercial development to benefit people who live and work in Cornwall.

Treveth has appointed Vistry Partnerships to build Gwel Bassett, with the first of the one to four bedroomed homes available next year. The scheme is due to be completed in 2024 on land opposite Redruth School. Vistry will begin site preparations next week (w/c September 20).

Ninety of the new homes are for private rent on three-year tenancies as standard, to address a shortage of long-term rental properties in Cornwall. Seventy-three will be offered as affordable homes, including 47 affordable rented and 26 shared ownership homes, and 22 homes will be for sale.

Treveth’s policy is to prioritise local people first when renting its properties, with its developments aimed at households who have a local link either through residency, employment or close family. Where possible it also applies this policy to homes it sells, and actively discourages second home ownership.

Treveth MD Tim Mulholland said: “Gwel Bassett is our biggest scheme so far and the first that we are building under our own design and sustainability manual, which sets new standards for quality, design and low carbon development in Cornwall.

“We want to raise the quality of new homes in Cornwall, especially for private rent, and reduce the running costs for residents, while tackling climate change. Sustainability is also about communities, which is why we offer three-year tenancies, so people can put down roots where they live. Gwel Bassett will be a fantastic development for local people.”

The start of work has been welcomed by Olly Monk, portfolio holder for housing and planning on Cornwall Council, who said: “Providing homes for shared ownership and affordable rent is a crucial aspect of tackling the housing pressures facing Cornwall and it is one of our top priorities as a Council. It is therefore great to see work starting on this site, which will go some considerable way towards providing the affordable, good-quality, homes that local people need.

“There are many strands to providing homes in which people with local connections can afford to live, so they can stay in their communities, and the developments Treveth is working on are a key part of the overall picture.”

Treveth has moved entirely away from fossil fuel heating, using instead a combination of solar energy and air source heat pumps in its properties. Other enhancements such as LED lighting and upgraded wall and roof insulation mean its homes already meet many of the standards for future homes in the UK, years before they come into force.

Gwel Bassett will include well designed green public spaces, new planting, and cycleways to connect with neighbouring communities in a sustainable way.

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