East Devon families move into cheap Cranbrook homes

More than 200 affordable homes are available to Sidmouth and East Devon residents in the first phase of construction at Cranbrook.

Under an agreement 65 per cent of the low cost housing at the new town must go to applicants with a local connection to the district, with the other 35 per cent to those local to Exeter.

A family from Ottery are among the first dozen residents of Sovereign Housing Association’s properties at Cranbrook, with more due to be handed over in the New Year.

Martin Park and Vicky Lovell moved into their new two-bedroom house last month with children, Jack, aged four, and nine-month-old Annabella.

Vicky, 27, said: “I think it’s going to be amazing, there will be the new train station, and a new town centre.

“There’s a lot of interest, people are always driving down to take a look.”

The couple had previously been living with Vicky’s parents, and then in a private rental house in Ottery which suffered from damp.

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Martin, 26, works as a poultry flocksman and Vicky has just returned to work part time in the office of a small family firm.

Vicky has always lived in East Devon, mainly in Ottery, and Martin moved to Exmouth in 2003 to live with his grandmother.

They had been on the East Devon housing waiting list for about a year and a half.

The first phase of construction at Cranbrook consists of 1,120 dwellings, but 328 of which will be low-cost housing, either social rent or affordable home ownership, allocated equally between Sovereign and Devon and Cornwall Housing.

The new town will eventually be home to around 6,500 households, with two primary schools, a secondary school, community centre and doctors’ surgery.

“We feel much more secure here,” said Martin.

“We are very impressed with our house, it’s a good size for a new build and has a decent sized garden.

“Jack’s looking forward to starting at the new primary school in September and we’re all going to watch the nativity play there.”

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