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Affordable homes on show in Staffordshire village during Rural Housing Week
The first residents have moved into properties at a £1 million housing scheme that’s providing much-needed affordable homes in a Staffordshire village.
As part of events to mark Rural Housing Week, Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) showcased the mix of rental and shared ownership properties recently built at St Peter’s View in Hixon.
Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, was joined by representatives of the Parish Council, Stafford Borough Council, contractors and local residents for a special launch event and a look around the development, which has been built on a rural exception site.
“The lack of affordable housing is a growing problem in many communities, particularly in rural areas,” Karen explained. “Rural exception sites enable affordable homes to be built that will help to keep small communities in the countryside alive by enabling young and old alike to remain in villages where they have strong family connections.
“In Hixon we have worked hard with all our partners to ensure the new homes blend in well with existing properties in the area and are a perfect fit for the village.”
The development, which consists of two two-bedroom bungalows, four two-bedroom houses and one three-bedroom house, was given the green light following £140,000 grant funding from the Homes and Community Agency (HCA).
Designed by architects Sutton and Wilkinson, the homes were built by the housing association’s construction partner for the project, Speller Metcalfe.
Among the first villagers to benefit from the partnership between the area’s leading housing association, parish and borough councils, the HCA and the developer are Les and Marilyn Webb.
The couple recently moved into one of the bungalows in St Peter’s View, having lived in Hixon for the past 46 years. They had feared they would have to leave the village when they needed to move to a smaller home.
“We really needed to move into a bungalow as Marilyn suffers from arthritis and was finding it difficult to get up and down stairs, but we could never afford one in Hixon,” Les explained. “Our new home is absolutely lovely and suits us perfectly, and everyone at SARH has been really helpful.”
Before work started on the new properties, Hixon Parish Council worked with SARH to establish the need for affordable homes in the village, and carried out a survey amongst local residents. Speaking at the launch event, Paul Hopcroft from the Parish Council commented: “Our research showed the need for affordable homes, and now they have been built, a very well done to everyone involved.”
Further details, and information about St. Peter’s View, Hixon and other SARH properties, are available at www.sarh.co.uk where people can also register their interest in renting or shared ownership.