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Increasing our rural housing provision

We are committed to the delivery of affordable housing in rural and urban communities and, as the gap in provision continues to widen, our Chief Growth and Development Officer, Jonathan Layzell, explains why striking the right balance is more important than ever.

“In recent decades, there has quite rightly been a keen focus on the inequality of investment between the north and the south of the country but urgent attention also needs to be paid to the disparity in funding between our urban and rural areas.

Heavily populated towns and cities have long received the lion’s share of provision while the unique needs of our villages and hamlets have too often been overlooked. Those living in rural communities are faced with higher costs, lower funding, and a greater requirement for affordable homes. The spectre of economic and social exclusion in our rural communities is a very real problem.

With this in mind, we have increased our provision of affordable homes in rural areas, taking into consideration the specific needs of individual communities. We understand the importance of delivering the right size, design, and mix of homes and are sympathetic to environmental issues and the need to ensure local residents are fully on board with new developments. All these factors are vital to enabling us to deliver high-quality affordable housing schemes which meet local need and help struggling rural communities to not only survive but to thrive.

At Stonewater, we have kept to our promise to invest in rural areas, dedicating millions of pounds to the delivery of new affordable housing developments.”

CGI shot of two semi-detached new-build houses with front garden full of colourful shrubs

Some of our rural developments

Cradley, Herefordshire

We partnered with Living Space to provide 32 new homes for affordable rent and Shared Ownership alongside 19 homes for market sale in Cradley, Herefordshire.

Nestled in the picturesque Malvern Hills, Cradley is a perfect example of a rural village where local wages are relatively low, but property prices are high.

Clehonger, Herefordshire

We also purchased a plot of land in the Herefordshire village of Clehonger where we delivered a £13 million development, supported by £3.7 million in funding from Homes England.

The scheme includes 58 homes for affordable rent – comprising a mix of one, two, three, and four-bedroom houses – and 32, two and three-bedroom homes for shared ownership. The development features a large public open space and the renewal of an existing orchard for residents to enjoy.

Crewkerne, Somerset

We provided investment to transform a previously vacant and overgrown site at Crewkerne in Somerset following the demolition of a former commercial building.

A total of 44 new homes were built on the land, including semi-detached and terraced properties, ranging from one and two-bedroom flats, to two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, available for people with a local connection.

The majority of homes are available for affordable rent, with 10 allocated for Shared Ownership. A part-rent, part-buy scheme, the development makes buying a property more affordable for many aspiring homeowners.

South Petherton, Somerset

We also worked with SPCLT and South Somerset District Council to deliver 34 homes, including two one-bedroom apartments, three three-bedroom houses and five two-bedroom houses, in South Petherton.

We worked with our partners to ensure that the properties were allocated to people with a connection to the parish.