Celebration as 58 new Stonewater affordable homes open in Poundbury

Local residents joined leading UK affordable housing provider Stonewater and West Dorset District Council for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of 58 new affordable homes in Poundbury’s South West Quadrant in Dorset.

Stonewater worked with the Duchy of Cornwall, West Dorset District Council and regional contractors C G Fry & Son and Morrish Builders to deliver the mix of 47 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom houses and flats available for affordable rent, and 11 three-bedroom houses for shared ownership sale.

Poundbury is an urban extension to Dorchester with the South West Quadrant housing 190 homes in total, 35 per cent of which are affordable. The new Stonewater homes have been built to help alleviate the shortage of low-cost housing for people living and working in the area.

Each house has its own private garden with allocated parking including ample provision for visitors. The new development also provides easy access to children’s play areas, cycle routes, garden allotments and a community hall. The homes all benefit from being close to local schools, amenities and bus services into Dorchester.

“Stonewater is delighted to have completed this smart new community of affordable homes to help local people who work in the District find an affordable place to live,” said Richard Stevenson, Stonewater Director of Business Development. “The rising affordability gap between local wages and house prices in the area, which are more than 11 times higher than the annual average wage, is largely responsible for driving many local young people and families out of the area in search of cheaper accommodation. Without these people, local small businesses, shops, pubs, schools and services struggle to survive. Affordable housing communities like this one in Poundbury are therefore vital to the long-term health and vitality of the regional economy.”

Each Stonewater home has been built to Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes standard which is designed to lower the resident’s carbon footprint and reduce their fuel bills. Some of the Poundbury homes are able to benefit from an energy-efficient system created by the Duchy of Cornwall that recycles waste from local farms to provide methane. This goes into the local grid to supply heat to houses in the Poundbury community.

West Dorset District Council Portfolio Holder for Housing, Cllr Timothy Yarker said: "Ensuring that there are enough homes for our growing population is an unending task and a vital part of the District Council's function. So I am delighted that these 47 homes at Poundbury have been added to those in West Dorset available for affordable rent and that a further 11 have been released for shared ownership, helping local people onto the housing ladder.

“I want to thank all those involved, and we look forward to continuing our work together in meeting West Dorset's housing needs."