Construction starts on affordable housing development in Blandford

Construction has started on a brand-new community of 13 affordable homes for rent and shared ownership in Blandford Forum which is being developed by leading UK social housing provider Stonewater. The scheme is being built on the site of The Beeches, a former residential home that used to stand at Fairfield Bungalows, Blandford.

Stonewater is delivering the housing scheme in partnership with North Dorset District Council, Blandford Forum Council and Parson & Joyce Contractors Ltd. It will provide a mix of 13 rental homes, seven two- and one three-bedroom properties which will be offered for affordable rent, and four two- and one three-bedroom houses for shared ownership.

Stonewater is financing the much-needed affordable housing project with £392,420 of grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

"This new development will help to meet a pressing need for affordable housing in Blandford and the surrounding villages where home ownership and private rents have become unaffordable for many local people and their families,” said Richard Stevenson, Stonewater Executive Director for Development. “We believe that everybody has the right to good quality affordable housing and we’re delighted that construction of the new development is now under way.”

All 13 properties will be built to Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes standard which measures the energy efficiency of new homes. Each home will be highly insulated and will include mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems and gas central heating which will mean a lower carbon footprint and low fuel bills for residents.

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, North Dorset District Council’s portfolio holder for housing said: “Delivering affordable housing is an important priority for the Council and I am delighted that this scheme will provide the opportunity for more local people to access good quality and energy efficient housing.”

The Strategic Housing Market Assessment from North Dorset DC suggests Blandford Forum has a need for 100 new affordable homes each year. Stonewater currently owns 67 affordable homes in Blandford including 11 new homes which have been recently built in Damory Street. The housing organisation owns and manages 2,262 homes across Dorset.