Affordable homes in South Somerset win national praise

New affordable housing developments in South Somerset have been shortlisted for top national awards.

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Sam’s Acre, in South Petherton, is in the running for Best Partnership while Orchid Acre Close, in Stoke-sub-Hamdon, is a finalist for Best Shared Ownership Development in the prestigious Inside Housing Development Awards.

Leading social housing provider Stonewater completed Orchid Acre Close in March and is due to complete Sam’s Acre next spring.

Stonewater teamed up with South Petherton Community Land Trust – set up by residents to tackle the town’s affordable housing shortage – to build Sam’s Acre, with support from Wessex Community Land Trust Project.

The scheme – comprising 22 homes for affordable rent, five for shared ownership and seven for Rent to Buy – was also the first in the country to win funding from Homes England’s Community Housing Fund.

Orchid Acre Close is a development of 14 homes – six for shared ownership and eight for affordable rent – in a village where many local people are priced out of the housing market.

The scheme includes an attractive community garden, where residents can grow their own fruit and vegetables, featuring a decorative iron archway depicting orchids and the village’s historic glove factory.

Matthew Crucefix, Assistant Director of Development at Stonewater, said: “We are proud to be playing our part in meeting the pressing need for a range of affordable housing in this country.

“These two developments have been made possible only by working in partnership with other agencies and the local community. We are thrilled they have been recognised at a national level for the teamwork involved and the quality of the resulting homes.”

Winners will be announced at the Inside Housing Development Awards ceremony in London on 27th November.