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New-build residents left in lurch as Plymouth MP fires warning

April 22, 20240

Plymouth’s housing shortage is an issue which I have been on top of since being elected in 2015. I am immensely proud of my record on housebuilding despite, on many occasions, Labour being obstructive and short-sighted in how they view these projects, MP Johnny Mercer writes.


I have intervened countless times to ensure that we make the best use of our city’s assets and plans are not derailed. My intervention secured an investment of £50m from Sanctuary Housing for 120 new apartments at a Barne Barton estate wrecked by fire damage. In February, on 1,100 new homes in North Prospect. I stepped in when the Council bundled the project to negotiate with Government to finish the £33m project.


In the past nine years we have seen 7,500 new homes built in Plymouth. I will, with residents’ support, continue to enthusiastically support housebuilding projects which factor in pressure on local services, tackle our housing shortage and bring money into the city.


By the same token, we must keep a watchful eye over unscrupulous housebuilders. While there have been many superb housing developments in Plymouth, too many residents have been beset with issues moving into new-builds with substandard building standards.


Persimmon Homes has undertaken wide-ranging remedial works to replace crumbling stone at their Palmerston Heights development. When constituents raised concerns about its progress with me, I arranged meetings with the developers and residents to resolve communication issues and wrote to every resident on the estate with an agreed plan of action. I thank Persimmon for their cooperation and hope that residents’ genuine concerns remain their first consideration.


I am alarmed by reports that South West building firm Halsall are facing administration. This has left residents at the half-built Silver Hill development in the lurch. Silver Hill in Tamerton Foliot includes 38 homes for both open market sale and affordable housing dedicated for Plymouth Community Homes, all at various stages of completion.


Following three site visits, my caseworker team had been working closely with its residents to help resolve outstanding issues with the housebuilders. These engagements resulted in a list of works being agreed between both parties and significant progress made to address safety concerns. As such, Halsall’s imminent collapse feels like a blow to the gut.


I will be speaking with the constituents I have been directly supporting, as well as engaging with Plymouth Community Homes Regeneration who were engaged in a joint venture with Halsall Homes. I encourage anyone on the estate who feels in need of support, particularly given the recent news, to get in touch and I will do all he can to support you through this difficult time.


When done right, housebuilding developments make a superb addition to the fabric of our City. When these high standards which we all rightly expect are not met they are a stain which causes deep anguish for families and demand intervention to be put right.


We must not be caught flat footed. Our City’s acute housing shortage has seen a record number of people approach the Council for housing support. I see this every week, helping constituents with their social housing banding. My commitment to improving our City’s housing supply as your Member of Parliament remains unwavering.


As ever, please get in touch via or 01752 876979. Surgeries can also be booked with me through these channels.

Luke Jones

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