New Leominster homes will help beat local affordable housing shortage

Construction has started on six much-needed new homes for social rent at Hopyard Close in Leominster, Herefordshire.

Leading affordable housing provider Stonewater is working with Herefordshire Council, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and local contractor J Harper & Sons to deliver the circa £600,000 new development which will provide a mix of flats and semi-detached houses. The project is due for completion in March 2016.

The sympathetically designed Stonewater homes will be for local people who are struggling to find affordable housing in the area. The high quality and energy-efficient housing scheme, which is being built on the site of a former car park, will provide four two-bedroom semi-detached houses and two one-bedroom self-contained flats, each with a garden and allocated parking space. Stonewater is financing the development with funding support from the Homes and Communities Agency.

The new homes will achieve a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 energy-efficiency rating to help minimise residents’ fuel bills and carbon footprint. They will also meet the criteria to achieve a Life Time Homes and Secured by Design standard, a national police initiative which aims to make people’s homes safer and more secure through good design.

“Affordable housing is vital to the long-term health and sustainability of our market towns. Small affordable housing developments like this one in Leominster, enable local people who keep the town’s shops, small businesses, services and restaurants running, to stay and support the local economy,” said Bob Strachan, Stonewater Chief Executive. “We’re delighted to see work start on these important new homes and we look forward to working with the council and our development partners to create more good quality, affordable homes across the district.”
The Hopyard Close development is a 10-minute drive from Leominster Station and within easy reach of local shops and amenities.

Councillor Patricia Morgan, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Herefordshire Council, said: “Herefordshire Council is pleased to be working with and supporting Stonewater in delivering much needed affordable housing in Leominster. These properties will be built to a high build standard and energy-efficiency rating that will ensure they remain affordable for residents within Herefordshire.”

Antony Rees, Managing Director of J. Harper & Sons (Leominster) Ltd said: “We are honoured to be selected as the preferred contractor on this project and to work with Stonewater and Herefordshire Council to deliver this much-needed, high quality affordable housing scheme. As a Leominster based contractor working within Herefordshire we recognise the business benefits and importance of this project and the opportunity to make a social and economic impact on the area. We will engage with the local supply chain and community to procure locally and will be offering apprenticeship and training opportunities as a direct result of our ongoing relationship with Stonewater.”

Stonewater is currently working with Herefordshire Council on another affordable housing scheme in Bodenham which will create two bungalows for shared ownership, one of these is being adapted for disabled living.