AS THE new homes market in Wales struggles to enjoy the same positive strides towards recovery as in England, Wales’ largest house-builder, Persimmon Homes, is set to address the housing shortage in west Wales announcing plans to deliver 450 new homes across Pembrokeshire with the potential to create over 1,300 jobs over the next five years.
Signalling its commitment to house building in Wales by expanding operations into west Wales, Persimmon Homes on Thursday marked the start of works in Lamphey on 39 homes comprising two bedroom bungalows and two, three and four bedroom houses.
Construction is also set to start on a further 68 at Hermitage Farm, near Haverfordwest, early next year following planning consent last week and at Bush Hill near Pembroke once planning consent is granted.
Managing Director of Persimmon Homes West Wales, Huw Llewellyn, said:
“We have found that the local authorities in west Wales have reacted more positively to the economic realities facing housebuilders and are taking positive steps to help make developments viable through more realistic planning requirements to help generate economic development, as well as new homes.
“Persimmon Homes is the first of the major PLC house-builders to develop homes this far west in Wales. And with family roots in Carmarthen, I’m proud to be part of a company that is keen to invest in the local community and support the local supply chain.”
According to Pembrokeshire County Council’s Local Development Plan, there is a significant lack of housing in the region and this latest announcement from Persimmon Homes will provide around 90 affordable houses with the remainder available on the Welsh Government’s Help to Buy Wales scheme thus helping first time buyers and families looking to upgrade to a bigger family home to do so.
Between now and 2021, Pembrokeshire County Council has made provision for 7,300 dwellings in the Local Development Plan, enabling the delivery of 5,700 homes, and Persimmon Homes is set to deliver 8% of this over the course of the next five years.
Cllr David Pugh, Board Member of the Swansea Bay City Region and Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism and Communities, said:
“Following the launch of the Swansea Bay City Region earlier this year, economic regeneration is very much the driving force behind Council activity as we strive to create jobs and sustainable economic growth.
“The announcement that Wales’ largest housebuilder is committed to investing in Pembrokeshire is a major step forward for the region and one that will present numerous opportunities for growth and regeneration and we hope to maximise the benefits of the developments for local people and businesses.”
Cllr David Simpson, Cabinet spokesperson for Housing and
Sustainability said: “From a Council point of view it’s superb for Pembrokeshire County Council to have such a large company in Pembrokeshire. Out of the 39 homes, seven will be affordable. Pembrokeshire Housing Association now has a good relationship formed with Persimmon Homes. Pembrokeshire Housing now have an agreement that the first allocations will all be local people.”
Managing Director, Huw Llewellyn said: “We plan to have the show homes open in March to April 2014 with people living here next year. It’s not a success until we have people living in the homes. We’re pleased with the relationship with the local authority.
“We’ve been welcomed here and have been working together well and we all have realistic expectations. It’s a five year plan to generate employment. People tend to think ‘How can a construction site create so many jobs?’. Well, it’s not just the boys he have working on site, it’ll be the people who will live there who will bring in trade for local people, such as a small shop – it will have more customers. It’s secondary jobs, too”.
Cllr David Pugh, Board Member of the Swansea Bay City Region and Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet member for Economy, Tourism and Communities said: “It’s great the commitment to come to this part of the world in Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire is open for business!”