New Kingston Bagpuize development addresses need for affordable rural homes
Published by RoyP for Sovereign Housing Association in Housing
As Rural Housing Week gets under way, work is about to begin to build eight much-needed new affordable homes in the Oxfordshire village of Kingston Bagpuize.
Sovereign Housing Association is providing four houses and two flats for affordable rent and two maisonettes for shared ownership. The new homes will be built on land next to an earlier development of six affordable homes that was completed in December 2006.
The scheme, which is due to be completed in 2013, follows a housing needs survey conducted by the Parish Council and Oxfordshire’s Rural Housing Enabler (RHE).
The survey showed that 74 per cent of villagers supported the building of more new affordable housing for local people. Twenty-eight respondents said members of their family had moved away from the parish due to difficulties in finding a suitable home there.
“The first development we built in Kingston Bagpuize was welcomed by the local community, but people clearly understood that there was still a desperate need for affordable homes in the village,” said Sovereign Development Manager Stuart Roberts.
Brian Forster, chairman of Kingston Bagpuize with Southmoor Parish Council, said: “These eight affordable homes, agreed some 18 months ago, will give an opportunity for some young village families and single people to climb onto the housing ladder and remain in the village where, in most cases, they grew up.
“I would urge those who wish to remain in the village to submit their applications to Sovereign as soon as possible, if they have not done so already,” he added.
The new development, like the previous homes Sovereign built, is a rural exception site. These are small housing schemes that fall outside normal local housing plans with the purpose of providing affordable housing to local people with a strong connection to the village who might otherwise be forced to move away from their communities.
“It’s fitting that work is starting during Rural Housing Week, which seeks to highlight the vital role affordable housing plays in sustaining rural communities,” Stuart Roberts said. “Wages are struggling to keep pace with rising house prices and this means many people, especially young families, are being forced out of their communities. This has a knock-on effect on local services such as shops, schools and pubs.”
The new development has secured £180,000 of investment from the Homes and Communities Agency.