Local people the key to new affordable homes scheme

November 29, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ November 2017 Cotswold News

Residents and council officials gathered at the launch of a new affordable rural housing development in West Oxfordshire.

The special event saw West Oxfordshire MP Robert Courts officially open the ten-home scheme in Bury Close, Kingham which will give priority to local residents who are otherwise priced out of the market.

Mr Courts said: “This fantastic scheme brings much-needed housing to local people. Everyone involved should be proud of what they have achieved here.”

Dragos and Doris Goga are among the first residents to move in with children Darius, seven, Albert, four and two-year-old Lina and are delighted with their new three-bedroom home.

Mrs Goga, who has worked as a carer in Kingham for seven years, said: “I love the house and the area. We used to live in Chipping Norton but there is far more room for the children to go out and play here.”

“We are really impressed with the quality of the work and by the professionalism of everyone involved,” added Mr Goga.

Cllr Colin Dingwall, Cabinet Member for Housing at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “This is an excellent example of how it is possible to provide affordable housing for local people. It has only been achieved through great teamwork across a range of partners and, most importantly, involving the local community.”

Sovereign Housing Association arranged for the homes to be built on land previously owned by West Oxfordshire District Council. Formerly a domestic garden area, the land was transferred to Sovereign as part of a land assembly deal in December 2016, subject to section 106 agreement.

Development was completed in October 2017 with residents moving in soon after.

The properties, all of which will be let at an affordable rent, comprise two one-bedroom apartments, four two-bed houses and four three-bed houses.

Heather Bowman, Chief Operating Officer at Sovereign, said: “There is a real need for this kind of affordable housing to help families stay connected to their local area. Only by working closely together with those living and working in our communities can we really make a difference and Bury Close is a fantastic example of what can be achieved to help our rural communities thrive.”

The section 106 agreement attached to the planning permission meant that applicants with a local connection, such as working or living in Kingham, or with family members there, were given priority for the new homes.

Peter Burrows, Director at EG Carter & Co Ltd, said: “This scheme is an excellent example of where collaboration and teamwork have enabled everyone to produce a truly excellent affordable housing project which embodies modern technology whilst embracing the local character and tradition.”

The official opening took place on Friday 24 November.