A turf cutting ceremony has marked the start of construction on 36 much-needed affordable Stonewater homes for local people in Mosterton Village near Beaminster.
The new development of 28 houses and eight bungalows in Windsor Close, on the south-west edge of the village, will provide a mix of low-cost rental, shared ownership and Rent to Buy homes.
Stonewater, a leading provider of affordable rural housing in the region, is financing the new development with additional £1.2m funding from Homes England and £180,000 from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).
Matthew Crucefix, Stonewater Assistant Director of Development, said: “Mosterton sits within one of the most expensive rural areas in the country, where at £311,426, open market homes are more than 12 times local workers’ annual salaries and private rents eat up over a third (38%) of average take-home pay.”
“We hope these affordable village homes will enable local people and young families being priced out of the housing market and who support local shops, businesses and services, to stay in the community close to their families, support networks and places of work.
Stonewater’s new Windsor Close village development will provide a mix of four two- and four-bedroom houses, and two two-bedroom bungalows for affordable rent, plus six one- and two- bedroom rented bungalows for older people. A further 15 two- and three-bedroom houses will be available for low-cost shared ownership.
The scheme also includes nine two- and three-bedroom rent to buy homes that are being offered under the Government’s Rent to Buy scheme which enables housing association residents to rent their home at a below-market rate for a minimum of five years with the option to buy it at a reduced price relative to how long they have lived in the property.
Stonewater is working with West Dorset District Council and Acheson Construction to deliver the scheme which will be sensitively landscaped, with a community woodland area backing onto the it. The homes will also have their own private gardens and parking.
Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, commented: “Through our Opening Doors programme, we’re working hard to see planning permissions built out in a timely fashion and it’s great to see that work has already started on this development of 36 wholly affordable homes. Once complete, these homes will provide a real boost for potential house buyers, who otherwise may have been priced out of the area. The district council has also recently pledged £15,000 to support the acquisition of a woodland area adjacent to the site for use by the community.”
Marcus Drysdale, Managing Director for Acheson Construction, added: “Acheson is pleased to support Stonewater in the construction of this site at Mosterton and the provision of much-needed affordable housing. We have a long history of working with affordable housing providers and delivering quality homes. As a local contractor, employing local people, we are proud to be a part of Stonewater’s ambitious plans to build 2,800 homes by 2022.”
Pictured, from left to right, are Charlotte Brace, Stonewater Development Manager; Louise Pitts, Stonewater Development Officer; Marcus Drysdale, Acheson Construction Managing Director and Colin Johnson, Acheson Construction Group Operations Director (at the back).