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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Surge in new homes sites bucks economic recession

Over the last year plans for 600 houses have been given the go-ahead to be built in the Allerdale district, while another 600-plus homes are waiting for the green light.

Despite being in the middle of a recession, developers are confident that there will always be demand for new homes.

Allerdale council’s planning department has been deluged by applications.

Story Homes has permission for 150 homes on land off Moor Road in Stainburn, Workington, and work has begun on its 46-home development in Great Clifton.

It has a number of other developments going through the planning process, including 152 homes at Netherhall Road in Maryport, 78 homes at Browside Road in Dearham and 75 homes on land west of Main Road in High Harrington.

Fred Story, the company’s chief executive, said: “The laws of supply and demand apply just as much to housing as to any other commodity, yet this gets distorted in people’s perceptions as old housing stock remains empty and unsold.

“For whatever reason, people will always need to move regardless of the financial climate.

“Sales on our developments have remained consistent and this gives us confidence in future schemes.

“New developments offer a much-needed boost to the local economy in terms of new jobs and the positive effect a scheme can have on the supply chain.

“We all need and desire good homes to live in but house prices over the last 15 years have become unaffordable for a lot of people.

“Only by building additional homes can we ever bring owning a home within reach of people who desperately need them but can’t afford them.”

Persimmon Homes also has a number of developments in the area, including 123 homes at Honister Park in Workington, 92 homes at Forgehill Park in the town’s Moss Bay and 58 homes at Church Meadows, Great Broughton.

Diane Finch, sales director for Persimmon Homes Lancashire, said there were only 16 properties left on the Honister Park estate and there had already been a lot of interest in the Forgehill Park development.

The Church Meadows development in Great Broughton, which opened in April, has reservations on 20 of the 58 properties.

She added: “Demand for new homes across Cumbria continues to grow, and we have found our developments in Allerdale particularly popular.

“In these tough economic times, we find people appreciate the lower running and maintenance costs of an energy-efficient new home, along with the guarantees offered by the builder.”

Persimmon also has permission for 100 homes on the former Corus steelworks site in Workington,

Lattimer Group, of Mealsgate, is working on an 18-home development in Workington and have a 17-home development, Sheila Fell Close, in Aspatria.

Tony Young, Lattimer’s building manager, said: “There is still a need for houses for locals and people moving into Cumbria.

“People buying new-builds are usually those with some experience on the property ladder, a mixture of couples and families, and they are mostly cash buyers due to the mortgage situation.

“We have had a good level of interest and we are looking at a few other sites in the area at the moment which are in the very early stagers of planning.”

Barratt Homes is releasing properties from its newly built Rye Hill Farm development in Flimby.

Angie O’Neill-Walker, sales manager, said that government schemes aimed to help house buyers get a foot on the ladder or move up are helping with sales.

She said: “These government schemes are brilliant news for us as builders and I think it has given people the confidence to buy.

“There is a need for new houses in West Cumbria. People are having babies, growing up, leaving school and they will all need somewhere to live.”

Plans for 221 homes near The Fitz in Cockermouth, by Lakeland Leisure Ltd, were approved in June, after a government ruling which found there was a need for new housing in the town.

In Workington, 94 homes were approved in August as part of the first phase of development by Port Derwent Developments on the harbourside.

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