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Summerfield offers first-time property buyers a toehold in Taunton9th December 2013

Summerfield offers first time buyers a toehold in Taunton, SomersetLocal first-time buyers in Taunton are being given a leg-up the property ladder by Somerset property developer Summerfield. The firm has started work on the first phase of its Cheddon Road development, where they are building 26 two- and three-bedroom low cost homes, which are available from just £110,000 for a two-bedroom property.

The site is close to Taunton Academy secondary school and includes properties that will be available for local residents to buy at less than their open market value.

Under Summerfield's My Home scheme, the development’s three-bedroom properties are available at 20 per cent less than their open market value. The other two-bedroom houses and two-bedroom coach houses have all been designed according to Summerfield’s Affordable by Design concept of low cost, high quality homes.

To specifically help local buyers, the My Home properties are initially available to people who either live in the Parish of Cheddon Fitzpaine and the surrounding areas, or have a strong connection through work or family to the location. Residents from other areas in Taunton could also buy the My Home properties. The eligibility of buyers will be determined by Summerfield in partnership with Taunton Deane Borough Council’s Housing Enabling Team.

The land for the development was part of a package of investment land given to the National Trust. Although most National Trust land can never be sold, because it was given specifically to be sold to raise money to look after nearby Fyne Court, the Trust was able to accept the request from Taunton Deane Borough Council to make it available.

Richard Nicol, Divisional Sales Director for Summerfield, said: “Cheddon Road is a quiet, residential area that is popular with homebuyers thanks to its excellent local amenities, as well as a close proximity to the centre of Taunton and the surrounding countryside.

“We are delighted to be working with Taunton Deane Borough Council to provide homes in this area that are truly affordable for local residents who may not have the highest of incomes, but who have worked hard and saved a bit.

“The My Homes and Affordable by Design schemes mean it is possible to buy a quality, brand new two-bedroom home from just £110,000 in Taunton. And with the first homes ready to move into from summer 2014, prospective purchasers have time to start saving towards a deposit."

Under Summerfield’s My Home scheme, the buyer holds complete ownership of the property rather than a share. To ensure that the property remains affordable when the house is sold on, a contract stipulates it will be sold at the same percentage of open market value as when purchased.

Cllr John Williams, Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: “Developing affordable homes with no government subsidy is a great achievement for Taunton. We’re determined to do everything possible to help people in the local community to get onto the property ladder and in conjunction with Summerfield, we’ve created a wonderful choice of new homes, which builds on a very successful scheme already completed near Wellington. I am delighted to see more affordable homes being developed in the same manner.”

Cllr Jean Adkins, Executive Portfolio Holder for Housing at Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: “Summerfield’s development at Cheddon Road is a great example of how the public and private sectors can work together to bring home ownership within the reach of local buyers who might otherwise be priced out of the market, and to offer an alternative to shared ownership schemes.”

All of the properties on the 1.2 hectare site will be built in a sustainable way, with double-glazing and gas fired central heating to ensure energy efficiency. Externally, front and rear gardens will be landscaped, and a 10-year NHBC warranty will be offered on all properties.

Summerfield’s development at Cheddon Road is the first of a three-phase low cost home scheme planned for the site. Phases two and three of the development will provide a planned total of 96 new homes.

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