New Stonewater homes make Burbage a more affordable place to live

Stonewater’s St Dunstan’s Place development meets a growing need for a range of affordable properties in Burbage and the Marlborough area where the high cost of housing is driving local people, particularly young families, out of the community.

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Eighteen affordable Stonewater homes, built to help local people find good quality low-cost village housing in Burbage, have been officially opened this month.

Leading social housing provider Stonewater has financed the £2.4 million mixed tenure scheme at St Dunstan’s Place, a new Charles Church Homes’ high street development in Bourne Way. The properties, delivered in partnership with Wiltshire Council, are a mix of 11 homes for low-cost rent, and a further seven for affordable shared ownership sale.

Local people priced-out of village housing market

According to the National Housing Federation’s regional Home Truths Report 2017/18 published today (21 March), the average house in Wiltshire (£289,993) costs almost 11 times typical earnings (£26,816) and would require a household income of at least £67,440 to afford a mortgage. Average monthly rents at £827 are also expensive, swallowing up over a third (37%) of local incomes and pushing many families into rent poverty.

“Affordable housing is not only vital to the long-term sustainability of Burbage but other rural villages across the county which all depend on people living and working in these communities to support schools, post-offices, pubs and other vital services in the community,” explains Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. “These new Stonewater homes are helping to address this housing shortage by providing the types of low-cost housing that local people want, where they want it, at a realistic price they can afford. But with just eight per cent of the country’s rural housing currently affordable, we need many more schemes in Wiltshire like this one to keep our villages and countryside alive.”

Stonewater’s St Dunstan’s Place homes are a mix of four one- and two-bedroom apartments, three two-bedroom bungalows, and four three- and four-bedroom family houses, all for low-cost rent. Another four two-bedroom and three three-bedroom houses are also available for affordable shared ownership, a part-rent part-buy scheme which allows buyers to purchase a percentage of their house and pay a reduced rent on the remaining sum. Shared ownership aims to help first-time buyers on to the property ladder, allowing them to increase their share in the home if their circumstances change until, in many cases, the house is owned outright.

Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Housing says: “Building strong communities is very important to Wiltshire Council and we are working hard to make sure sufficient affordable homes are available for those who need them. This is a constant challenge, and one we are working with our development partners to address. We want people to be able to stay in their local communities which will preserve the vitality of these areas for generations to come.”