The starting gun has been fired on the creation of a controversial new town in Devon - and if all goes according to plan, people will moving into their new homes next year.

A total of 5,000 new homes will be built at Sherford in south Devon - with 1,000 of them so called 'low cost housing'.

But, with affordable homes dubbed one of the biggest challenges in the West Country, is it enough to tackle the shortage?

Estate agent David Lewis says building more Sherfords is "preferential" to extending our smaller towns and villages.

He says after London the West Country has the highest discrepancy between house prices and local wages.

He added that there is a serious social housing issue in Devon, and said demand for social housing clearly outstripped supply.

Is there enough affordable homes? Not really. Clearly there are housing challenges here in the South West and they are causing - invariably - social problems. Why isn't there more social housing? It's down to the pressures created by the wonderful county we live in, therefore creating strong demand from people wanting to live here.

David Lewis, estate agent
What the site currently looks like. Credit: ITV West Country

The first few months of this £1billion project have been focussed on the infrastructure needed for the first 500 homes - drains, sewers and pipes.

Work eventually started here last summer and now diggers and dumpers are reshaping the land. Over 20 years, Sherford will spread over the equivalent of 600 football pitches. It will be similar in size and population to the nearby town of Ivybridge.

A third of the site, at least will be left open, a natural habitat. Modern schools, brand new schools in fact. A brand new town centre. We estimate that in total, when completed, this whole development will contribute around £2 million back into the community and generate a further 5000 jobs back into the local community.

Wayne Bennett, Bovis Homes