A turf-cutting ceremony has marked the start of construction on a new village development of 70 affordable Stonewater homes for local people at Fern Hill Gardens.
Social housing provider and developer Stonewater will be working with Vale of White Horse District Council and contractors Bellway Homes to deliver the greenfield scheme on former Steed’s Farm land at the edge of Great Coxwell village. The Steeds will provide a mix of 53 homes for affordable rent and 17 properties for low-cost shared ownership within Bellway Homes’ new Fern Hill Gardens larger development of 200 homes.
The new Stonewater housing community will offer a range of different homes from one-bedroom flats to characterful two-, three- and four-bedroom family houses with private back gardens and parking provision.
Fern Hill Gardens, which is due for completion in phases from September 2018 to July 2020, is within a mile from Faringdon town centre and shopping, leisure, business, schools and transport facilities.
Arthur Gott, Stonewater Development Manager, said: “Employment is no guarantee of being able to pay your housing costs in this part of Oxfordshire where an average home at £383,883, is nearly 12 times the £32,204 average salary and the average private rent is around £986 a month.
“These Stonewater affordable homes will provide a great opportunity for local people and families to get a foothold on the property ladder and rent or purchase a home of their own at a price they feel they can comfortably afford.”
“Schemes like this one are vital to keeping young people, their families and local businesses and services in the community which are all critical to supporting the local economy and ensuring the town’s long-term health and sustainability. We are looking forward to working with Vale of White Horse District Council and Bellway Homes and seeing this much-needed new development take shape.”
For the shared ownership homes, buyers will be able to purchase 40-75% of the property initially, with the option to own 100% over time. Many of the new homes will be prioritised for local people living in the Faringdon area.
Cllr Michael Murray, Vale of White Horse District Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, added: “We know how important affordable housing is and this development will make a valuable contribution towards meeting the need in our district. We are pleased to see progress being made and look forward to working once again with Stonewater to create further opportunities for local people.”
Fern Hill Gardens follows Stonewater’s recent completion of a 30-home affordable housing scheme in nearby Deddington, 14 homes in Maple Grove, Shrivenham, and 20 new village homes in Hook Norton. Stonewater is also delivering 153 new affordable homes at Hanwell View in Banbury.
Pictured, from left to right, are: Rhys Nelson, Bellway Homes Development Coordinator; Emma Kane, Stonewater Sales Executive; Evans McBruce, Stonewater Development Officer; Arthur Gott, Stonewater Development Manager and Phil Welham, Employer’s Agent — Ridge.