Stonewater celebrates completion of 27 much-needed affordable homes in Pawlett

Leading social housing provider Stonewater has celebrated the completion of 27 village homes for affordable rent and shared ownership at its new cul-de-sac development Springfield Close in Pawlett, near Bridgwater in Somerset.

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Stonewater has worked together with Sedgemoor District Council and regional contractors RG Spiller to deliver the much-needed housing scheme off Chapel Road. The smart new development provides two one-bedroom walk-up apartments and 17 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, all for affordable rent. Eight two- and three-bedroom shared ownership houses are also available at the site. The properties have private gardens and parking provision.

Financed by Stonewater with an additional £545,154 in grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency, Springfield Close has been built to tackle the shortage of affordable housing in the area.

“Many young families who work locally and have a connection to Pawlett and the area, are being squeezed out of the community because they simply can’t afford to rent or buy a home,” says Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. “With average house prices at £206,644*, which is more than eight times the local salary, and typical monthly rents almost a third (30%) of local wages in the Sedgmoor District, we hope these new Stonewater homes in Springfield Close will go some way towards addressing the shortage of affordable housing in the village and wider Bridgwater area.”

The energy-efficient homes have all been built to a Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 equivalent standard, and are equipped with high levels of insulation to keep running costs down for residents.

Pawlett village is four miles north of Bridgwater, making Springfield Close conveniently located close to the town and its railway station which has train links to Bristol, Taunton, Exeter and Plymouth.

Councillor Andrew Gilling, Porfolio Holder for Housing at Sedgemoor District Council, says: “Providing affordable homes is a central priority for the council. With rising house prices and demand continuing to make purchasing and renting homes very difficult for people, it’s great to see rural developments like Pawlett come forward with the support of the local community.

“This official completion is particularly welcome given some of the challenges involved with the Pawlett scheme. Facing potentially project-ending challenges in 2014, the successful completion of these new homes represents the culmination of many years’ hard work, and is a testament to Stonewater’s significant efforts to help maintain the delivery of meaningful numbers of new affordable homes across Sedgemoor. Their bold decision to step in on this project has ultimately meant we have been able to help more people into genuinely affordable homes, providing 27 affordable units for the village.”

Stonewater, which owns and manages 450 homes in the Sedgemoor District, has recently transformed an unused former pub in Bridgwater into 17 new two- and three-bedroom houses for affordable rent.