New homes in Stourpaine to help tackle affordable housing shortage

As the housing shortage continues to push-up house prices and private rents in the Blandford and Blackmore Vale area, the village of Stourpaine has seven reasons to cheer this month as construction got underway on a new development of affordable homes in Shaston Road.

The seven energy-efficient houses which will be built on the site of Stourpaine’s old village hall are being developed by leading UK social housing provider Stonewater in partnership with North Dorset District Council, Stourpaine Parish Council and Brookvale Homes. The new development will provide two two-bedroom houses and one three-bedroom house for affordable rent and two two-bedroom houses and two three-bedroom houses for shared ownership. Stonewater will also sell-off two plots of land for two four-bedroom houses which will be developed for open market sale alongside the affordable homes.

Stonewater liaised closely with the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Finance and the Trustees of Stourpaine Village Hall to purchase the site where the old village hall currently stands. Proceeds from the sale are being used to build a new hall in another village location.

North Dorset requires around 90 affordable homes to be built annually to meet the current housing shortage. According to the National Housing Federation’s Home Truths 2013/14 report, the average price of a rural home (£205,727) in communities like Stourpaine, is more than 10 times the average local salary (£19,396), making it difficult for many people to find affordable village housing close to their family, friends and support networks.

“These new homes in Stourpaine will enable local people who are the life-blood of the community, to live and work here which is vital to the long-term health and prosperity of the village,” said Richard Stevenson, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. “We’re therefore delighted to be working with our partners and the community to help deliver these much-needed affordable houses and we are committed to developing more like them in rural areas across the District where they are most needed.”

Stonewater is financing the scheme with additional support from the Homes and Communities Agency.

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 new scheme in Stourpaine is being constructed. The scheme will provide more local people the opportunity to access affordable housing that is built to a good standard and is also energy efficient.”

This development on the site of the old village hall is Stonewater’s first housing scheme in the Stourpaine area. The affordable housing provider currently owns 67 homes in nearby Blandford Forum and 144 homes across North Dorset.