The hidden new Plymouth estate everyone will soon drive past (2023)

Hardly anyone knows where it is - or that it even exists.

Seaton is an emerging new neighbourhood in fast-growing Derriford that's steadily gaining a reputation for being Plymouth's 'best kept secret'.

At the heart of the virtually unknown community out beyond William Prance Road is Palmerston Heights - a leafy habit built up from scratch.

It's a stone's throw away from the madness of Derriford. Yet the beauty of life in Seaton - which overlooks picturesque Forder Valley - is the fact it's virtually silent.

But that's soon all about to change as the race to modernise the north of Plymouth gathers pace - and the issues ahead threaten to divide locals.

Plymouth Live went to find out what's suddenly causing a stir in the town soon EVERYONE will talk about - and drive by.

'We knew nothing about the Forder Valley Link Road'

The hidden new Plymouth estate everyone will soon drive past (1)

Since 2015, developer Persimmon has marched on with rolling out its vision for 873 homes, with shops, new streets and businesses that'll serve the newcomers of Seaton.

Many are from outside the area - and claim to have been unaware when they moved in that huge plans were afoot to construct a major new road network so close to their homes.

The Forder Valley Link Road promises to end congestion hell around Derriford; taking drivers away from the heavily congested Tavistock Road and Manadon Roundabout.

It's set to be a 1km stretch of road linking William Prance Road to the junction of Forder Valley Road and Novorossiysk Road.

The Government's piled millions into the £38 million project - and it's what many in Plymouth have longed for in the battle to keep the city moving.

Except, that is, the people who live right by of where one half of the new major dual carriageway will sit.

The hidden new Plymouth estate everyone will soon drive past (2)

Some are considering legal action because they claim the details were never put before them.

Janette Beggs moved to Palmerston Heights from Southampton, Hampshire, and claims she was told nothing.

"I came to live here to be near my daughter; I didn't know anything about this road that is going to along there," she said.

"That was a bit of a shock. So it's not exactly going to be quiet.

"I wasn't told. Life is lovely now; but I don't know what it will be like when it's done.

"We are all concerned about the noise and traffic levels.

"I have three cats and a dog; living right near a link road like that, I'm going to be concerned about them running out.

The hidden new Plymouth estate everyone will soon drive past (3)

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"I don't really want to move; not for the moment."

Janette says residents have another difficult issue on their hands.

Some chose to move into Persimmon's leasehold range of homes - and now want to move because they say weren't completely aware of ground rent and service charge fees woven into the deals.

"I've been given the opportunity to buy a freehold," Janette explained.

The hidden new Plymouth estate everyone will soon drive past (4)

"I've approached Persimmon and they wanted 25 times the ground rent to buy it (my home).

"The government says it will being it down to 10 (times the amount).

"It's a huge stress on families. There are three houses for sale, but they're not selling. People don't want to buy them."

'We want to move - but we can't'

The hidden new Plymouth estate everyone will soon drive past (5)

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Another family living on Palmerston Heights say they wish they had the opportunity to swap their lease home for a freehold - but money is a big obstacle.

They say some are 'part-exchanging' properties for new homes going up as part of Phase 3 of Persimmon's development.

One young mum - who didn't wish to be named - said: "I think it's the new build world we live in.

"We will eventually move out. But I just don't think we will be able to sell - no-one is buying.

"Some houses have been up for months.

"Other people are part-exchanging theirs to get on another part of the development.

"It means they get a freehold homes. We've been quoted £10,00 to buy the freehold; we currently have £3,750.

"We've been told the freehold could be sold to an external company, and it could go up."

Meet the people who ADORE life at Palmerston Heights

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Not everyone's unhappy with the way life's progressing in Seaton - in fact many are chuffed it's going to be vibrant, busy and brimming with life.

Solicitor Connie Moulding, 24, and her fiance Lewis moved into Phase 2 of Palmerston Heights in October 2016.

And they can't wait for the all singing and dancing new road network that will enable them to freely access the city.

"It's lovely to be honest," Connie said.

"One of the things that attracted me to this area was the fact it feels safe - a lot of the people who moved in are in the same boat.

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"It was our first home. It sometimes can be scary (preparing for that) but we are all sorted.

"I'm really good friends with our neighbours.

"Everyone helps each other.

"The creation of the Forder Valley Link Road is absolutely brilliant; it's part of the reason it attracted me to move up there.

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"We wanted to be in an area that's up and coming.

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"There's so much regeneration. It (Palmerston Heights) will be a huge housing development that will be vibrant and safe.

"It will add value to our houses - which is really good."

Andy Dumper, of Palmerston Heights' Bluebell Street, made the switch with his wife from Hampshire in June.

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"My son was living here, he has been down for some time," Andy explained.

"Unfortunately I was diagnosed with cancer; so we wanted to come down and be with him.

"We just love it here. Everyone is just so helpful; all the contractors, Persimmon themselves, really amazing.

"There's nothing that's too much trouble."

Seaton - what's the big idea?

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Construction at Palmerston Heights has seen a 'growth in employment opportunities and improved transport options', say bosses, with the development of the Forder Valley Link Road giving residents 'direct access to the A38 Devon Expressway'.

Persimmon says it will splash out £5million on the area – cash that will 'enhance the new community' and attract 'further investment and opportunity.'

The money will be ploughed into a travel plan, an 'innovative' car sharing scheme for commuters, and contributions to boost the public bus service.

Understanding the figures

Persimmon agreed to contribute huge sums of money towards things like highways, education and

open spaces through Section 106 agreements during the planning process.

At Palmerston Heights, Persimmon has pledged £285,000 towards a travel plan, £125,000 towards a

car sharing scheme, a £2m contribution towards a strategic transport plan and £750,000 towards the

local bus service.

There is also £25,000 going towards bus lane camera enforcement, £731,561 towards education in

the vicinity, £953,000 towards green infrastructure, £514,000 towards biodiversity and £4,000

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towards improving the air quality.

Funds have also been put behind for education, a new green space, 'biodiversity' and towards improving air quality.

The first two phases of the Palmerston Heights development is now complete; and plans have been filed for a four-storey block of offices and flats that'll help shape the neighbourhood’s new high street.

Work on 'Phase 3' - set to be made up of 126 new homes - will soon begin.

Whilst the fourth and final phase will be brought to life the other side of the Forder Valley highway.

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Just down the road from Palmerston is Persimmon's sister development, a Charles Church housing quarter made up of 30 luxurious four and five bedroom homes.

Persimmon sales rep Amy Cartwright took Plymouth Live on a tour of the growing Seaton estate.

"Not even the people that live around here know it's even here," the 26-year-old explained.

"It's so quiet, it's like living in the countryside.

"At the weekends, it's just kids enjoying the green space. There's a big family vibe.

"You wouldn't know you were in the north of Plymouth.

"I live in Sparkwell, and when I come here, I feel like I am at home.

"It's Plymouth's best kept secret."

Persimmon Homes' message to locals over Forder Valley development

A spokesperson for Persimon Homes said: “The development has been designed on the basis that the Forder Valley Link Road is in place.

"Whilst there will clearly be an increase in traffic from Derriford linking to the bottom of Forder Valley Roadd there will be no access through the development itself.

“We would anticipate that the connectivity to the wider Plymouth area would be of real benefit to the residents living at Palmerston Heights.”

On lease deals

"We are always pleased to accept our properties back in part exchange when customers are looking to upgrade their homes," the company said.

“It is good to know that we can help customers as they look to move up the property ladder and our tried and tested part exchange system helps them in that process.”

The regeneration of Plymouth

  • Living walls for car park
  • £600m city centre revamp
  • £60m waterfront skyscraper
  • Millbay's hotels

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