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Official opening for £2.2 million rural housing scheme
A £2.2 million housing development in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside has been officially opened this week during Rural Housing Week.
Named after a helper at a school that once stood on the site, Highfield Close in Swynnerton is the latest affordable housing scheme from Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH).
Built on a rural exception site, the development is the result of a partnership involving SARH, the Homes and Communities Agency, Seddon Construction and Housing Plus, together with the local Borough and Parish Councils.
This stunning scheme, which includes 19 new homes, was designed after a survey of the local community found a clear need for apartments and bungalows for young people and older people looking to downsize.
With the help of £240,000 funding from the HCA the scheme is now delivering much needed housing for people with strong connections to the village.
Karen Armitage, SARH Chief Executive, explained: “The shortage of affordable housing in rural communities is a growing challenge. But, by working closely with local residents and the parish council and local planning authorities, we can build sustainable developments that meet the needs of rural areas.
“Highfield Close is an excellent example of a housing project that blends in well with existing properties to enable people to remain close to their work or family rather than be forced to move further afield in search of a suitable home.”
At the official opening Karen was joined by representatives of Swynnerton Parish Council, Stafford Borough Council, Seddon, the HCA and Housing Plus.
Together they watched former Stafford Mayor and Swynnerton Parish Councillor Stan Highfield – whose late wife, Doreen, was a helper at Swynnerton RC Primary School – cut a ceremonial ribbon to mark the opening of Highfield Close.
The development has already proved popular, with all but two properties now either sold or rented.
Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Community at Stafford Borough Council, added: “We need to ensure that we are building the right homes, for the right people, in the right areas to the right quality standard – all of that takes care and planning. And the starting point is understanding the need in each of our communities and working locally to deliver a range of housing options to meet these.”
Pictured above at the launch of Highfield Close are, from left to right: Cllr Roy James, Swynnerton Parish Council; Karen Armitage, Chief Executive, Stafford and Rural Homes; Stan Highfield; Cllr Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Community, Stafford Borough Council; and Jonathan Seddon, Managing Director of Seddon Construction Ltd.