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New housing scheme for first-time buyers is proposed for Honiton town centre site

By June 1, 2016January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

A national pilot scheme to build high quality starter homes available for local people is being proposed for an East Devon market town.

Initial suggestions being put forward by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) include around 30 two-bedroom starter homes with gardens and car parking on a town centre site in Honiton.

The scheme is one of the first under the HCA’s initiative to help meet the Government’s commitment to building 200,000 Starter Homes by 2020 – exclusively for first time buyers under the age of 40 – to be sold at a 20% discount.

The 1.6 acre site at West End, Honiton will become available later this year when agricultural machinery supplier Halse of Honiton relocates to purpose-built premises at Daisy Mount, just off the A30, mid-way between Honiton and Exeter. The fifth generation family business, which has operated from Honiton for the past 74 years, is moving to accommodate further business expansion. 

Concept designs and outline plans for the new starter homes development have been produced by the Exeter-based studio of LHC Architecture + Urbanism. They show a mix of high quality houses and apartments which have been inspired by the local character of Honiton. Interior layouts show generous living space as well as private gardens with a new street through the site. 

The proposals and designs for the new starter homes in Honiton will go on show at a consultation event being held on June 27th at the Beehive Centre in Honiton from 2.30pm to 7pm.

Local people are being asked to put forward their suggestions for the scheme in advance of an outline planning application to East Devon District Council later this year.

Paul Britton, Area Manager for HCA, is looking forward to working with the local community to deliver new homes in Honiton. He said: Finding the right kind of home in the right place at the right price is a real challenge for first time buyers, so we are pleased to be able to put-forward proposals for a scheme so close to Honiton’s vibrant High Street, offering an excellent community infrastructure and a short commute by rail or road into Exeter. It’s the ideal place to take the first step onto the property ladder.” 

Philip Halse of Halse of Honiton is the fifth generation to run the family business. He says that the acquisition of the town centre site by the HCA is good news, not only for his company and customers but for the local community and the local and regional economy too.

“The business was established by my Great Great Grandfather in 1880 on land behind the old Sidmouth Station before it moved to the Honiton site in 1942.

“After 74 years we have simply outgrown this site and, in preparation for the sixth generation of our family joining the business, it was time to find a suitable location to accommodate the company well into the future.

“Daisy Mount allows us to remain true to our local roots while being in a highly accessible location that will enable our customers to reach us and vice versa. We are very pleased with the HCA’s vision for the future of the Honiton site which is an ideal location for homes for younger people.” 

Halse of Honiton, which will rebrand as Halse South West, employs 30 staff across the South West. The company anticipates that its new Daisy Mount site will be fully operational from January 1st 2017 with an official opening planned for April 2017.