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New partner on board to realise East Cowes vision

5 August 2010

Barratt Homes has been named as the development partner to take forward a 180 home development on the Cowes Waterfront Initiative, which will support visionary plans to regenerate East Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

The Homes and Communities Agency and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) have signed the development agreement with Barratt, who will now work towards delivering the new homes.

The masterplan for the 11 hectare East Cowes site also includes a new Waitrose supermarket, which is due to open later in the year; medical centre; town square; hotel; a further 300 homes during a later phase,  and a marine employment quarter on the waterfront site.  SEEDA has also submitted a planning application for a 300 berth marina.

Kevin Bourner, Head of area at the HCA, said: “The HCA and SEEDA’s ambitious vision to create a place the East Cowes community will be proud to live and work in has taken a major step forward.

“It is excellent news that Barratt is on board with this project, and I am certain it will deliver the standards of sustainability and design that we expect for the new and affordable homes.”

Barratt Southampton managing director Ian Wallace said: “We are pleased to once again work with the HCA and SEEDA in bringing this development to life and fulfil the genuine housing need in the East Cowes area.  Housing market conditions are improving, paving the way for what we predict to be a successful development.  The new homes will boast a great location and our commitment to not only bringing vital quality housing to the Island but also creating environmentally friendly lifestyles is of paramount importance.”

Pam Alexander, SEEDA’s Chief executive, commented: “The first phase of the Cowes Waterfront Initiative is a huge step forward and one that paves the way for future economic development throughout the area. The Cowes Waterfront Initiative is a fine example of what can be achieved when working in partnership and we look forward to seeing the benefits associated with this major regeneration project.” 

Paul Read, Divisional Director of Development (East) at Spectrum Housing Group said: "There is a high need for affordable housing for local people on the Island and we are delighted to be the chosen Housing Association to deliver this part of the scheme. Our subsidiary, Medina Housing Association, will be bringing its local expertise of managing around 3,000 homes on the Island to this scheme upon completion. Meanwhile our development team based on the Island will be working alongside the HCA, Barratts and SEEDA to deliver a quality scheme where people want to live."

Stuart Love, IW Council strategic director for economy and the environment said: "The council too welcomes this important milestone in what is a scheme of great importance both to the town of East Cowes and to the Island as a whole.

"We will continue to play our part in assisting this major regeneration project that will bring substantial recreational, economic and social benefits to the area."

A planning application was submitted for the first phase in May 2010, with a decision expected in September. All the 180 properties will reach level 4 under the Code for Sustainable Homes and 54 units (30 per cent) will be affordable.

If successful, Barratt Homes will start building the 137 houses and 43 flats early next year.

HCA and SEEDA have committed around £18 million to the regeneration of East Cowes, which has included masterplanning, land acquisition, remediation and major infrastructure improvements including a new link road.

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