Ribbon-cutting marks completion of 13 new affordable homes in Blandford

Leading affordable housing provider Stonewater joined representatives from North Dorset District Council, Blandford Forum Town Council, residents and local contractors Parsons & Joyce, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of 13 new affordable Stonewater homes at The Beeches in Blandford.

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The new homes provide a mix of seven two-bedroom homes and one three-bedroom family house all available for affordable rent. Four two-bedroom houses and one three-bedroom house for shared ownership have already been sold to excited new owners.

The shared ownership scheme allows residents to purchase on a part buy, part rent basis where the buyer pays a reduced rent and buys shares in the house, with the option to own it outright in the future. Priority for the homes was given to those with a local connection to Blandford.

“These new affordable houses at the Beeches in Blandford will help combat a pressing need for affordable housing in the area. With local house prices on the rise, affordable housing helps those who may not have been able to afford a house on the open market to find a place they can call home at a price they can afford,” says James Bradbury, Head of Development for Stonewater. “The priority for local people on these houses allows those that work in the area to stay close to their family, friends and workplaces.”

Professional illustrator Ester Coombs in association with ‘a space’ arts which provides opportunities for emerging artists to make new work in the region, has created two large tiled-murals to decorate the site. The murals depict the historic trades and industries of Blandford celebrating the history of the area. Sections of each of these tiles have also been replicated and installed in each of the new gardens.

“It’s great to see the completion of these high quality affordable homes,” says Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, North Dorset District Council’s Access and Housing Portfolio Holder. “These will assist in helping to meet housing need and are a good example of how affordable homes can be well designed and make a positive contribution towards the sustainability of the community.”

“There is an ongoing need for affordable homes in the area, which enable local residents to purchase a home where they have lived,” says the Mayor of Blandford Forum, Cllr Jackie Stayt. “The murals are a beautiful and fitting touch to the development and the provision for parking is essential in the town.”

All 13 homes are highly insulated and include mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems and gas central heating to reduce fuel bills. Each home also has its own private garden and two parking spaces, with additional visitor parking close by.

Stonewater currently owns and manages 80 homes across Blandford and 157 in North Dorset, with over 1400 properties currently in development across the country.