Construction has started on a new development of 49 Stonewater homes in Shefford to help tackle the shortage of affordable homes in the area.
Pictured above on site from left to right are: Stuart Mitchell, Bovis Site Manager; Victor Inegbese, Stonewater Sales Executive; Rebecca Fleckney, Stonewater Development Officer; Paul Jolly, PJA, Employers Agent and Craig Warner, Bovis Partnership Housing Co-ordinator.
The much-needed affordable homes for rent and shared ownership, are being built by social housing provider Stonewater within Bovis Homes’ new 140-home Campton Fields housing development, off Campton Road. Around 120 local jobs will be created during the building of the affordable housing scheme.
Stonewater’s mixed scheme will offer 12 one-bedroom apartments, two two-bedroom bungalows and 17 two- and three-bedroom family homes, for affordable rent. The shared ownership element will provide nine two-bedroom and nine three-bedroom houses for low cost shared ownership. The development will be delivered in nine phases, with the first phase of homes – five two- and three-bedroom shared ownership homes – due for completion at the end of this year. The final phase of homes will be completed in June 2019.
“I am delighted that work is now underway on these new homes in Shefford which will increase housing choice in Shefford and also create local jobs and economic growth in the area,” said Chris Montague, Stonewater’s Head of Development (East). “Campton Fields is an excellent example of how housing associations and developers can work together to create new homes where they are most needed. Housing prices in this area can be very expensive, with the average at £274,912* which is almost nine times the average wage. Average rental costs are also high – reaching more than a third (34%) of the annual wage. Affordable housing, like these new homes in Shefford, are instrumental in helping key workers and young families who are often priced-out of good quality homes, find something that suits them at a price they can truly afford.”
Stonewater is working with developers Bovis Homes and Central Bedfordshire Council on this scheme which will also include 91 open market homes, as well as public open spaces and a skate park. The new housing community is ideally located next to Shefford Lower School on School Lane, and within a short walk from local shops and services on Shefford High Street. All the properties will have parking provision.
Robin Hambrook, Bovis Homes Partnership Housing Director for its East Division, commented: “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Stonewater to deliver affordable homes in this great location. It’s exciting to be working closely together to create fabulous homes we can all be proud of.”
Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, added: “We have recently opened our draft Local Plan for public consultation, which sets out how we plan to deliver up to 30,000 new jobs and between 20,000 to 30,000 new homes across the whole of Central Bedfordshire over the next 20 years, 30 per cent of which will be affordable homes. While these homes in Shefford have come before the Local Plan is adopted, they do highlight our commitment to planning for lower cost homes for our residents, while the 120 jobs this development will provide will be a welcome boost to the local economy.”
*Home Truths 2016/17 — National Housing Federation: the average house cost being almost nine times greater than the average wage.