Stonewater completes ambitious five-year affordable housebuilding programme in Poundbury

There were 14 good reasons for local people to celebrate this week following the handover of the final phase of affordable new Stonewater homes in Poundbury’s North East Quadrant.

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The event marks the social housing provider’s completion of a five-year housebuilding programme which has helped to deliver 72 homes in Poundbury for low-cost rent and affordable shared ownership. Financed by Stonewater, the properties were developed in partnership with West Dorset District Council, The Duchy of Cornwall and regional contractors CG Fry & Son and Morrish Builders.

Poundbury is a 400-acre mixed-use urban extension to the western edge of Dorchester which has been designed, under the direction of HRH The Prince of Wales, as a walkable, sustainable community which gives priority to people rather than cars. It houses around 3,000 local people in a mix of rental and shared-ownership homes on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. One in three Poundbury homes (35%) is affordable housing. The North East Quadrant is the third phase of the Duchy development which when completed in 2022, will provide a mix of 505 new homes, commercial premises, a public park and community facilities. By 2025, with the addition of the North West Quadrant, Poundbury will expand to at least 2,200 homes.

Stonewater’s most recently completed mini-scheme in the North East Quadrant offers eight three-bedroom houses and one two-bedroom coach house for affordable rent, and four three-bedroom houses and one two-bedroom coach house for low-cost shared ownership. Built by local contractors Morrish Builders, the energy-efficient properties, some with private gardens, are within easy reach of Poundbury’s public transport, local schools, shops, services and leisure facilities. The community also has its own garden allotments and cycle routes to nearby Dorchester.

“We’re delighted to have completed this significant affordable house-building programme in the North East Quadrant with the support of The Duchy of Cornwall, the Council and our construction partners,” says Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director for Development. “With second-home ownership and wealthy incomers inflating the housing market in the Dorchester area, it’s becoming extremely difficult for local people – particularly young families – to afford a place to live in the local community. We hope our Poundbury homes are helping to address this problem and that this most recently completed Stonewater development will provide 14 local families with a fantastic home of their own, close to their family and friends this Christmas.”

This latest Stonewater housing scheme has provided six local apprentice placements in a variety of roles, including carpentry and bricklaying, throughout the construction.

Ben Murphy, Estate Director for the Duchy of Cornwall, says: “The Duchy of Cornwall is committed to delivering a vibrant mixed-use community in Poundbury with a wide range of high quality housing to meet local housing need, and we are proud to deliver 35% affordable housing for people and families on the local housing register. I am delighted that Stonewater has managed to provide six local apprentice placements throughout the construction of these magnificent properties, helping meet two of the key principles of Poundbury, to create local jobs and to support traditional building and craftsmanship.”

Councillor Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, says: “It is fantastic that Stonewater has managed to build so many high quality, affordable homes on this one site in the last five years. Affordable housing makes an essential contribution to the sustainability of the local community and assists in fulfilling local housing need.

“I’d like to thank Stonewater for their contribution, and look forward to working with them in future developments.”

Stonewater owns and manages 457 homes across West Dorset.