06 Feb 2018

Plymouth City Council commits to new veteran self-build scheme

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Plymouth City Council commits to new veteran self-build scheme

Plymouth City Council has committed to a new veteran self-build scheme, following the successful completion of its award-winning Nelson Project.

The council has selected a site reserved for new housing as part of its Joint Local Plan, a former residential home in Honicknowle, known as Stirling House. The unused building will be demolished and replaced with a number of self-build housing opportunities for ex-military personnel and their families.

The exact number of properties to be developed is yet to be confirmed, however subject to planning, the council is aiming to house 12 veterans and provide wheelchair units as well as affordable housing.

As with the Nelson Project, Plymouth City Council will work with partners DCH, Form Design and charity the Community Self Build Agency to create the new housing development. DCH will take control of the land and will manage the completed properties, while CSBA arm, Veterans’ Self Build, will manage the construction process.

The council will maintain its award-winning approach to self and custom built housing, with ex-servicemen taking construction courses to gain valuable job-based skills, building the homes that they will eventually live in.

The location of the project will allow for expansion opportunities,thanks to a nearby disused health clinic, something that Plymouth City Council is currently considering.Chairman of the Community Self Build Agency, Norman Biddle, commented: “The CSBA Veterans Self-Build team appreciates that Stirling House on Honicknowle Green is ideally located within a strong, vibrant community, close to the hospital and with reliable public transport links, reputable education, business and employment opportunities.

“This is an award-winning partnership that endeavors to replace a tired building, with something rather special, changing lives and enhancing the community with a contribution to a positive future.

“This, combined with our commitment to help disadvantaged groups and social housing as a whole, means there has never been a greater need or time than the present to seek much needed funding and support.”The Nelson Project won Best Smaller Development at the 2017 Abercrombie Awards and saw ex-service personnel gain construction skills to help with the build of the 24-home development. This included 12 self-build homes for veterans and 12 mixed-use affordable homes, including supported housing.

Veterans self-build, Nelson Project

Veterans celebrate the completion of the Nelson Project, with representatives from Plymouth City Council, DCH, CSBA and HCA

In 2017, Plymouth City Council won Best Council for Self/Custom Builders at the Build It Awards, with the judges declaring that the council “has been promoting custom build to fellow councils up and down the country, showing energy and passion at the same time as successfully delivering projects in its own jurisdiction.”

The Community Self Build Agency is a charity dedicated to helping ex-servicemen with learning new skills and working together to build new communities to live in.

Words: Jen Grimble Photos: Wayne Perry

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