Stonewater village scheme to help 36 households find affordable homes in Mosterton

A turf cutting ceremony has marked the start of construction on 36 much-needed affordable Stonewater homes for local people in Mosterton Village near Beaminster. The new development of 28 houses and eight bungalows in Windsor Close, on the south-west edge of the village, will provide a mix of low-cost rental, shared ownership and Rent to Buy homes.

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Stonewater, a leading provider of affordable rural housing in the region, is financing the new development with additional £1,222,542 funding from Homes England (formerly the HCA) and £180,000 from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

“Mosterton sits within one of the most expensive rural areas in the country, where at £311,426*, open market homes are more than 12 times local workers’ annual salaries and private rents eat up over a third (38%) of average take-home pay,” says Matthew Crucefix, Stonewater Assistant Director of Development. “We hope these affordable village homes will enable local people and young families being priced out of the housing market and who support local shops, businesses and services, to stay in the community close to their families, support networks and places of work.

Stonewater’s new Windsor Close village development will provide a mix of four two- and four-bedroom houses, and two two-bedroom bungalows for affordable rent, plus six one- and two- bedroom rented bungalows for older people. A further 15 two- and three-bedroom houses will be available for low-cost shared ownership – a part-buy, part-rent scheme which allows buyers to purchase a percentage of their home and pay an affordable rent on the remainder. The scheme also includes nine two- and three-bedroom rent to buy homes that are being offered under the Government’s Rent to Buy scheme which enables housing association residents to rent their home at a below-market rate for a minimum of five years with the option to buy it at a reduced price relative to how long they have lived in the property.

“Rent to Buy is designed to help renting customers into home-ownership by enabling them to pay a subsidised rent and save money towards a deposit on a home,” explains Matt Crucefix. “The income generated from the sale of these properties also provides a source of funding for us to build more affordable homes where they are most needed in the area.”

Stonewater is working with West Dorset District Council and Acheson Construction, to deliver the scheme which will be sensitively landscaped, with a community woodland area backing onto the scheme. The homes will also have their own private gardens and parking.

Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, says: “Through our Opening Doors programme, we’re working hard to see planning permissions built out in a timely fashion and it’s great to see that work has already started on this development of 36 wholly affordable homes. Once complete, these homes will provide a real boost for potential house buyers, who otherwise may have been priced out of the area. The district council has also recently pledged £15,000 to support the acquisition of a woodland area adjacent to the site for use by the community.”

Marcus Drysdale, Managing Director for Acheson Construction, says: “Acheson is pleased to support Stonewater in the construction of this site at Mosterton and the provision of much-needed affordable housing. We have a long history of working with affordable housing providers and delivering quality homes. As a local contractor, employing local people, we are proud to be a part of Stonewater’s ambitious plans to build 2,800 homes by 2022.”