plus 6 commercial units
and 10 apprentices recruited and trained
and a restored market hall, now a digital hub
Prior to World War II, the Vision development site formed an integral part of Devonport town centre but was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence after suffering extensive damage in the blitz. It became the South Yard Stores Enclave and was separated from the community by a 3-metre high security wall.
Known locally as the area’s own “Berlin Wall”, it became a symbol of discontent to the local community, not just for its ugly appearance but also the constant reminder that the area behind the wall had once been the ‘heart’ of the town; a thriving area full of homes, shops, dance halls and cinemas.
In the years leading up to redevelopment the area suffered from high unemployment, poor quality housing - predominantly social housing and flats - and a history of associated social problems.
Regeneration isn't simply about bricks and mortar. Redrow has gone far beyond its statutory obligations and also pumped cash and support into very many community organisations and events. Examples include St Aubyn’s Church, Devonport Linc, Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Devonport Boxing Club, three primary schools and local police cadets. Redrow has supported carol festivals, family fun days and poetry events, including sponsorship of the PlymLit literary festival in 2016 and 2017.
There’s a general buzz around the area, businesses and cafes have opened up and a wide range of people live in Devonport now, from first time buyers to second time owners, retired people, naval officers. Indeed, Redrow has sold homes to people of all ages and from all walks of life; from 18-year old first time buyers to an 80-year old former airline pilot.
Today’s Devonport is virtually unrecognisable from the area that Redrow first encountered.
It was one of only three places in the country to be nominated for the 2015 ‘Great Neighbourhood Award’ by The Academy of Urbanism, made up of planning experts, academics and practitioners. Although Devonport eventually lost out to Holbeck Urban Village, in Leeds, it showed just how far the town had come. And land Registry figures for 2017 showed that houses prices in Devonport had risen faster than anywhere else in Plymouth, up by 20% in a single year.
Whilst Redrow cannot take all the credit for the wide sweeping improvements this neighbourhood has witnessed, its Vision development has undoubtedly played a major role and demonstrates Redrow’s appetite and aptitude to deliver regeneration programmes of this scale.
Redrow went out of their way to ensure that I was kept fully informed of their plans to regenerate one of the most deprived parts of my constituency. They worked hard with the local community, including providing apprentices and materials to replace a very tired kitchen for the Devonport boxing club.
MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport during the project
Before the Second World War, the site was part of Devonport town centre, but it suffered extensive damage in the Blitz and was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence.
English Partnerships, then the Government's regeneration agency, buys the land at a cost of £5m.
After displaying a commitment to delivering quality homes and facilities, and restoring a sense of community, Redrow is chosen to redevelop the site.
A five-month pre-planning consultation takes place with key stakeholders and local residents.
The Devonport wall is demolished and work begins on the regeneration project.
It is delivered in 13 phases over a period of 10 years.
The site is one of only three places in the country to be nominated for the 2015 'Great Neighbourhood Award' by The Academy of Urbanism, made up of planning experts, academics and practitioners.
The project was officially completed in November 2017 and is now home to more than 1,100 people, making a huge difference to the community.
Land Registry figures from this year show that house prices in Devonport has risen faster than anywhere else in Plymouth, up by 20% in a single year.