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Parish council leads on affordable housing development

Dormington and Mordiford Group Parish Council has led on a local affordable housing development, after finalising its parish plan in conjunction with the community in 2006. The parish plan has set the agenda for the parish council for several challenging years.

Nick Brewin, chair of Dormington and Mordiford Group Parish Council, said: 

“Our local area plan identified a requirement for affordable housing in the village, as well as a desire for a safe children’s play area and allotments to improve the village’s environmental and sustainability credentials. Our work on our affordable housing project satisfies all three requirements.” 

The parish council believed that if local people could have access to affordable housing, then local employment, community facilities and the village school would be safeguarded.

It would also help reduce the trend of local residents leaving the area as they had no access to affordable housing and could not afford to rent or buy locally. This housing development would remain affordable thus giving future generations a place to live and grow.

Throughout the whole process the community was involved and worked with the parish council to provide ideas for improving the plan. 

The original plan before the consultation between the Parish and the community of Sufton rise

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Below is the finalised plan produced by the Parish and the community.

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West Mercia Homes and Kemble Housing, both part of WM Housing Group, were approached to lend their expertise and a local housing needs survey was distributed to parish residents to identify the housing need and also to request feedback for community and green space areas. 

During the project Tina Wood from the  affordable housing development team in Herefordshire Council played an important role in ensuring a suitable site was found to build the new houses, sourcing the funding to build the houses and  keeping them within the community. Tina worked tirelessly with the Parish Council  and West Mercia Homes to make it the success it is. Kat La Tzsar was also a lead player in the project; she provided drive, enthusiasm, tact and determination.

West Mercia, Kat La Tzsar and Tina Wood have been congratulated for their fantastic commitment and communication during this exciting and sought after new development in the community.  

The subsequent results identified an affordable housing requirement for both elderly residents and family accommodation. Work continued to promote the scheme through WM Housing Group and its partners and a site adjacent to Sufton Rise was identified. Land negotiations with a local landowner were instigated and the land was purchased in January 2014.

The £1.5million development, which is being funded in part by a £350,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency’s Community Led Development Fund, will deliver flats, houses and bungalows, with eight properties for rent and four for shared ownership.

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The key criterion to being able to own or rent one of these properties will be that applicants must have a local connection within the Dormington and Mordiford parish area.  This is written into the Section 106 agreement drawn up by Herefordshire Council, which will ensure that a local connection will remain the key element to future lettings and sales.

The scheme has also helped to promote green credentials, as all materials are sourced within a 50 mile radius of the site.  The contractor, J Harper and Sons has also employed local people through its apprenticeship scheme.

It is anticipated that the development will be completed and ready for occupation by the end of January 2015.

Overall the project will have taken nine years to complete from start to finish and would not have succeeded without the leadership of the parish council in partnership with the community and WM Housing.

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Overall the project will have taken nine years to complete from start to finish and would not have succeeded without the leadership of the parish council in partnership with the community, Herefordshire Council and WM Housing.

Tags: Community and living