MP opens new council houses

The first new East Devon council houses for 21 years have been officially opened.

Eleven homes have been built - nine in Meeting Lane and Glebelands, Lympstone, and a further two in Normandy Close, Exmouth.

The homes, a mix of two and three-bedroom properties, were built with investment from East Devon District Council, along with more than �1 million funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Work began on the homes in April last year, with the first tenants moving in 12 months later. The homes have now been officially opened by East Devon MP Hugo Swire.

Among the new tenants is Anne Hartley-Norton, who moved into a house in Meeting Lane with her partner and her five-year-old daughter, Phoebe.

Anne said: “Five generations of my family are from Lympstone, so it’s really nice to be able to live locally. We’ve been living with my parents for two years, so to have our own home has been great.

“We’ve got really nice neighbours, and so far it’s been absolutely lovely. We feel very lucky.”

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When the homes were initially allocated, Anne and her family were not on the list, so she wrote to Mr Swire and to Lympstone Parish Council to ask for a reprieve.

Anne finally got onto the list after one of the original applicants pulled out and Lympstone parish councillor Jim Bailey told her to re-apply.

At the official opening of the houses, Anne and Phoebe presented Mr Swire with a card to thank him for his support.

Mr Swire said: “This is a local lady who has been housed with affordable rent, which is the sort of thing we should be doing in East Devon.

“I’ve had a look around their house, and they are very happy – they’ve got everything they need.”