Hay Grove, a new £5m Stonewater development of 35 affordable homes in Weston-super-Mare, has been designed to provide an affordable housing option for local people on average incomes.
Stonewater has financed the mixed development of low-cost rental and shared ownership homes with additional contributions from North Somerset Council and funding from Homes England. The development was developed in partnership with North Somerset Council and the regeneration arm of energy and services specialist ENGIE.
The Hay Grove homes are a mix of 12 three-bed and three two-bed family houses, seven three-bed coach houses and two two- and three-bed apartments for rent. The shared ownership homes include eight two- and three-bed houses and three three-bed coach houses for low-cost shared ownership.
The National Housing Federation‘s Home Truths 2017/18 report for the South-west found that at £271,631, the average North Somerset home is 10 times the average salary. Stonewater Executive Director of Development Jonathan Layzell said: “In just a decade, house prices in Weston have risen by 30%, making it almost impossible for young people and families on local salaries to afford to live in the town.
“Hay Grove is part of Stonewater’s wider drive to provide many more new affordable homes for those in housing need across the county.”
Stonewater and ENGIE worked jointly with Weston College during the development’s construction to provide work experience for construction students and placements for four subcontractor apprentices in bricklaying, plumbing and carpentry.
Stonewater commissioned Somerset-based artist Elaine Marks to create a public artwork for the development creating a sense of ‘place’ for the new Hay Grove community and linking it with its past. Elaine’s inspiration has been a willow-weaved donkey symbolising the land’s former use as a field for donkeys. A children’s play area has also been built within the new development.
Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s Deputy Leader whose portfolio includes housing, commented: “We very much support Stonewater delivering new affordable homes in Weston. These new quality homes will make an important contribution to meeting the local need for affordable housing. We need to continue to work with Stonewater, identifying opportunities to deliver more, much-needed housing for local people.”
Edward Rees, Regional Director for ENGIE, added: “Hay Grove has been the perfect opportunity for us to work with our partners to create a sustainable new community whilst addressing the need for affordable housing in the area. We’re really proud of the high quality homes we’ve built on this development, and we hope the residents will live happily here for generations to come.”
Stonewater currently owns and operates 380 affordable homes across North Somerset.
Pictured, from left to right, are: Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater Executive Director of Development; John Weguelin, Stonewater Board member; Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader; Mark Hughes, North Somerset Council Head of Housing and Nick Jenkins, ENGIE Business Development Manager.