Ribbon-cutting marks handover of more new affordable homes in Poundbury for local people

A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the handover of five new Stonewater shared-ownership homes in Poundbury, Dorchester, this week (7 March).

The smart new properties for local people in the area, are part of a development of 14 new affordable two and three-bedroom homes for rent and shared ownership sale which Stonewater is delivering.

Stonewater, one of Dorset’s leading affordable housing providers, has been working with the Duchy of Cornwall, West Dorset District Council and regional heritage building construction firm Morrish Builders, to develop the new homes in Poundbury’s North East Quadrant. When completed, the development will provide a mix of eight three-bedroom family-sized houses and one two-bedroom coach house for affordable rent. A further four family-sized three-bedroom houses and a two-bedroom coach house will also be offered for shared ownership sale.

Local apprenticeships

Four of the remaining homes for rent will be completed in August 2016 and the final five rental homes in June 2017. The scheme is also providing local trade apprenticeship opportunities with two plasterers and a bricklayer apprentice currently working on site with Morrish Builders.

“Rising house prices in the Dorchester area, which are among the highest in the country, are pushing homes further out of the reach of local buyers, particularly young people and their families,” says Richard Stevenson, Stonewater Executive Director of Development. “Many as a result, are being forced to leave the communities where they have grown up because they cannot afford housing. This is why high quality affordable housing developments like this one in Poundbury, which provide a choice of properties for low cost home ownership and rental options, are so vital to the long-term sustainability and prosperity of West Dorset’s towns and villages. We’re delighted to be making good progress on the construction of this attractive new development and looking forward to completing the scheme next summer in partnership with the Council and Morrish Builders.

Since 2012 Stonewater has delivered 58 affordable homes in Poundbury, which is an urban extension to Dorchester built on the principles of traditional architecture and urban planning as advocated by HRH The Prince of Wales, and delivered by the Duchy of Cornwall. The scheme is a mixed-use development, designed as a walkable community to give priority to people rather than cars, with 180 businesses already established including shops, cafes and leisure facilities. The North East Quadrant is the third phase of the scheme which when completed, will provide a mix of 505 new homes, commercial buildings and a public park.

The new Stonewater homes will have easy access to Queen Mother Square, the new centre and heart of Poundbury, as well as children’s play areas, a ‘ball wall’ play area, garden allotments, bus services, and enhanced cycle routes to Dorchester. Damers First School is also relocating to the North East Quadrant in early 2017. All of the Stonewater properties in this scheme also have their own private gardens, allocated parking and ample visitor parking.

Councillor Tim Yarker, Housing Portfolio Holder at West Dorset District Council, says: “We are delighted to see the completion of these high quality affordable homes. These will assist in helping to meet housing need and are a good example how affordable homes can be well designed and make a positive contribution towards the sustainability of the community.”

The new homes have all been built to the low carbon Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 standard making them energy efficient and cheaper to run. They are also part of a system created by the Duchy of Cornwall, which takes waste from local farms and recycles it into gas to supply the Poundbury community.

Jamie Whale, Morrish Builders Associate Director Operations, says: “Morrish Builders is delighted to handover these new, three bedroom houses, which include the high quality build and interior features that the company is synonymous with. Supporting the local community is one of the company’s key priorities and we are pleased to be able to involve local apprentices in this development. We look forward to continuing our work with Stonewater in the future.”