Rural Housing Week sees completion of much-needed affordable village homes in Deddington
Rural Housing Week (3-7 July) was marked in Deddington with the completion of the first six of 30 much-needed Stonewater affordable homes for local people struggling to find housing in the village.
The six two-bedroom rental homes are part of the social housing provider’s new affordable housing community of rental and shared-ownership properties at Deddington Grange, a new development of 85 homes off Banbury Road by David Wilson Homes.
Due for completion in January next year, the Stonewater scheme will provide 21 homes – including one-, two- and three-bedroom houses and a one-bedroom bungalow – for affordable rent, and nine two- and three-bedroom houses for low-cost shared ownership. The homes are being built in four phases in partnership with David Wilson Homes and Cherwell District Council. Phase two will see another nine properties handed over next month.
With the average house in the Cherwell area costing £307,862*, which is more than 10 times the average local annual salary, and private rents more than a third (35%) of monthly wages, Stonewater sees an urgent need for affordable homes in rural communities such as Deddington where local people – particularly younger groups – are being forced out of the area because they can’t afford local housing. The Deddington Grange homes are conveniently located within easy walking distance of local shops and services in the village high street and the development includes a secure children’s play park.
“This development in Deddington is a perfect example of how the use of locally sourced stone in the design of rural housing schemes can add real value to the community and fit in with the local building vernacular,” says Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. “Affordable housing is vital to the health and long-term sustainability of our rural villages for future generations. But, these developments have to be the right type of housing, in the right location, to stimulate growth, diversity and prosperity.
“Rural Housing Week highlights the important role housing associations like Stonewater are playing in keeping our rural communities alive by providing responsibly-built affordable housing for key people including shopkeepers, teachers and farm workers, as well as nurses and carers who will be increasingly needed to support an aging rural population. We look forward to building more rural schemes like this one in other parts of the county where they are needed most.”
The Deddington Grange scheme is one of many small new affordable housing developments Stonewater is creating in rural communities across England. Rural areas, which are settlements with a population under 10,000, support 20% of the national population.
“Far too few homes are being built for local people across rural England and communities are disappearing as a result,” says David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation. “Housing associations like Stonewater are a key part of the solution to the rural housing crisis. Stonewater is a great example of how, with the right support, housing associations can build the homes local people and their rural communities so desperately need. I’m delighted that Rural Housing Week is shining a spotlight on the innovation of housing associations like Stonewater.”
Councillor John Donaldson, Cherwell’s Lead Member for Housing, says: “There is a fine line between delivering rural housing and protecting the character of the village. This development has been sympathetically designed to complement existing homes in Deddington whilst meeting the future needs of the district.
“Many people, particularly first-time buyers, are eager to purchase homes in rural locations but find themselves priced out of the market. Therefore, it is good to see a developer offering affordable opportunities in a village setting.”
Stonewater is also currently working on Hanwell View, a 153-affordable-home scheme on Southam Road, Banbury.