THE OFFICIAL opening of 44 new affordable homes on Respryn Road in Bodmin has taken place, as social housing organisation Ocean Housing and regional developer Gilbert and Goode welcomed new residents at a celebratory event.

Bakery Park, which had been vacant for 10 years, now boasts a collection of one, two and three bedroom homes, 23 of which are shared ownership homes and 21 social rented properties.

As well as the regeneration of the derelict land providing much needed affordable homes, it has also been recently recognised by Michelmores’ prestigious property awards.

Ocean Group CEO Mark Gardner said: “We are delighted to officially open Bakery Park which provides vital homes for local people in need. With very little housing being built in Bodmin over the past year, this site has helped many people in the area. All the social rent properties have been let to residents who have a primary connection with the area. The shared ownership homes have sold well with the few remaining attracting a good interest.”

“We are honoured that the development has been shortlisted for the ‘Residential Project of the Year’ 2024 award. The Michelmores’ property awards really champion sustainability and innovation whilst celebrating the best property, developments and construction projects in the South West, so this is a fantastic achievement.”

The development was made possible thanks to funding from Homes England and Cornwall Council. The site used to be home to a Focus DIY store before being demolished and left vacant for a decade. But it’s now been brought back into use, providing much needed housing in the Bodmin area.

Gavin Caldwell, Construction Director at Gilbert and Goode, said: “We had planned to begin building these much-needed properties before now but an embargo on construction projects within the River Camel Special Area of conservation meant a delay while things were sorted out. We’re delighted that our scheme was given the go ahead and we’ve been able to provide 44 homes to local people.”

Olly Monk, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for housing, said: “At the time of the planning application for The Old Bakery in 2020, there were 362 households on our Homechoice register with a local connection to Bodmin looking for affordable housing. Since that time this number has increased to 1,049.

“Tackling the housing crisis is one of our top priorities and as a Council we are investing in building new homes for social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership across Cornwall, as well as working with registered providers, like Ocean. We want to enable the delivery of much-needed good quality homes to meet the needs of our communities – and I’m pleased to see that all the rented units now have people living in them as well as delivering shared ownership opportunities.”