Local residents to benefit as first 15 affordable Stonewater homes are completed in Yapton

A ribbon-cutting ceremony has marked the completion last week (30 July) of the first 15 affordable Stonewater homes for local people living and working in the Arun District in West Sussex.

The new homes which are being delivered by leading affordable housing provider Stonewater, are part of the organisation’s larger £8.7 million development of 69 affordable homes in the smart new Charles Church Emerald Gardens community off Goodhew Close.

Stonewater has been working with Arun District Council and Charles Church Thames Valley to deliver the first phase of the £1.6 million mixed development which will provide 11 three- and four-bedroom homes for affordable rent and four two- and three-bedroom homes for shared ownership sale. A further 20 two-, three- and four-bedroom affordable homes for rent and shared ownership are being handed over by Stonewater in August and September this year with the remaining 34 homes due for completion by December 2016.

The 15 completed homes with private back gardens and allocated parking, are within close walking distance to the village centre and local shops and amenities. The new properties will be assigned to local people in need of housing in Yapton and the surrounding areas by Arun District Council. Stonewater is also commissioning a ‘navigation’ themed mosaic for the new development in recognition of Yapton’s historic links with the nearby Portsmouth and Arun Canal and Ford Airfield, which played a prominent role in both World Wars.

“We are thrilled to be handing over these 15 new affordable properties which mark the completion of the first phase of our development in Emerald Gardens. Good quality affordable housing is fundamental to the long-term sustainability of Yapton and other villages in the district which are losing young people and families due to the high cost of housing in the communities where they have grown up and work,” said Richard Stevenson, Stonewater Executive Director for Development. “These affordable new homes, which are close to the village centre, will help to ensure that key local people who run, support and maintain services and facilities in the community are able to stay here, close to their families, friends and places of work. We look forward to providing another 54 affordable homes in Yapton over the next 15 months in partnership with Arun District Council and our construction partners.”

All 69 Stonewater properties will be built to The Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 standard and include energy-saving features such as high levels of thermal insulation, gas central heating and high-performance combi-boilers. The investment will mean a lower carbon footprint and reduced fuel bills for residents.

Councillor Ricky Bower, Cabinet Member for Planning and Infrastructure at Arun District Council, said: “I am delighted that 69 new affordable homes are being built in the Arun District thanks to this scheme.

“Arun District Council has enabled the development of 1,000 affordable homes during 2010 and 2015 which demonstrates the Raise the Roof housing strategy is helping to ease the national housing shortage. The Council has built the most affordable homes in West Sussex over recent years and this confirms our commitment to the housing shortage for those most in need in our communities.”

Martyn Clark, Managing Director of Charles Church Thames Valley, said: “Building safe and sustainable new communities is something we take enormous pride in achieving, and we are pleased with the progress at Emerald Gardens. These affordable properties, along with those built for the open market, are providing much-needed homes for local people and are helping to maintain the economic and cultural viability of our rural towns and villages.

“We have seen a great deal of interest in our properties on the site, with a wide range of homes to suit all. With a vast array of two-, three- and four bedroom homes on offer, Emerald Gardens is bound to have what you are looking for.”