Celebrations in Millbrook as Stonewater hands over 1,000th affordable home

Local residents, council members and guests joined social housing provider Stonewater in Buttermere Close, Millbrook last week to celebrate the handover of the organisation’s 1,000th new home since its formation 20 months ago. Stonewater currently owns and manages 30,000 homes across the UK.

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The milestone house at 69 Buttermere Close, is part of a mixed development of 28 affordable Stonewater homes which have been delivered in partnership with Southampton City Council on the site of the former Whitehaven Lodge Care Home. The event was marked by the unveiling of a commemorative stone and plaque by Stonewater’s Chair, George Blunden, in the communal garden at the entrance of the new development.

Built by Hampshire construction firm F E Chase, the new Buttermere Close housing development has been funded by Stonewater with an additional £569,197 in grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency. It offers a mix of 23 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and three- and four-bedroom houses for affordable rent, and five three-bedroom, five-person houses for shared ownership, available from £84,000 for a 40% share. Two of the affordable rented apartments are adapted for residents with disabilities.

Built to a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 standard, the new affordable Stonewater homes have been highly insulated and equipped with energy-monitoring and saving devices to keep running costs down for residents. All the houses have water butts in their gardens and some homes have been fitted with heat-generating solar photo-voltaic panels.

Working with art space facilitator, a space arts, Stonewater also commissioned artist Jacqueline Seifert who has created tiled external murals in Buttermere Close which tell the

story of Mary Robinson and Lake Buttermere. Mary was a young girl in the Lake District who became known as “The Beauty of Buttermere” after Joseph Palmer and William Wordsworth penned tributes to her.

“Since Stonewater’s creation last year, we have pursued our vision which is for everyone to have the opportunity of a place they can call home. We’re proud in such a short time, to have been able to help 1,000 families find high quality and comfortable affordable housing in communities where they want to live, close to family, friends and work,” says George Blunden, Stonewater’s Chair. “We’re also delighted that these homes, which range from bungalows and apartments through to large family houses, are helping to revitalise rural villages, market towns and city centres across the country.”

Stonewater is aiming to complete 2,000 new homes by March 2018 and 5,000 in total by 2025.

Councillor Warwick Payne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Adult Care at Southampton City Council, says: “Helping to improve the supply of affordable housing in Southampton is a priority for this council. We are proud to work with Stonewater to provide its 1,000th local family with an affordable home and to bring forward much-needed affordable housing across the city.”

Buttermere Close is one of several Stonewater housing developments in the area. Most recently, the housing organisation has completed two major schemes in Southampton’s city centre, providing 102 new affordable homes for local people. Ninety of these for affordable rent and 12 for low-cost shared ownership.

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