Affordable homes for Charminster residents

Local politicians, community leaders and stakeholders joined leading national housing association, Stonewater in celebrating the opening of a brand-new affordable residential development in Charminster. The ribbon cutting ceremony, which took place on June 6, 2019, showcased the 24 affordable homes provided by Stonewater.

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The new homes have been built by Wyatt Homes as part of a larger development that will bring 70 homes in total to Charminster. Developed in partnership with Dorset Council for the Opening Doors programme, which is encouraging the development of more quality homes in Dorset including properties for affordable rent.

Stonewater has been able to provide 12 homes for affordable rent and 12 homes for shared ownership. This includes a mix of three and two-bedroom houses, accommodating families of three to six.

The event, which took place outside of Charmister’s new community hall – built by Wyatt Homes as part of the new development – welcomed the new affordable properties and its residents.

Houses in villages like Charminster are greatly sought after, but many aspiring homeowners and prospective tenants do not earn enough to afford the price of property in the area, either to buy or rent. This has resulted in a lot of the younger people from the area moving away from their families and leaving local employers struggling to attract new talent.

As part of the development, Charminster’s local primary school also received support from Stonewater. The housing association funded new fencing around its playground area at the front of the school.

“Lack of affordable housing has been a real issue in the Dorchester area. The average house price is £202,000, which is more than ten times the average income of £19,800 in the area,” said Jonathan Layzell, executive director of development at Stonewater. “Charminster is a beautiful place to live and we’re proud to be supporting local residents and providing them with genuinely affordable homes for rent.”

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, who is Dorset Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Good quality affordable homes of this kind at Charminster are very much in demand. It is encouraging to see a mixture of different types of affordable properties on a larger, open market development.
“They are very welcome as we need to see 20,000 homes, both affordable and open market, built in north, south and west Dorset by 2033 through our Opening Doors programme.”

Cllr David Taylor, who is Dorset Council’s ward councillor for Charminster St Mary’s and deputy mayor of Dorchester, said: “I am delighted to see the completion of these new homes. This development by Stonewater will give local people the opportunity to continue to live and work locally, while bringing further benefits for the community in the shape of a new community hall.”