Leader of council opens affordable homes in Barton Mills

16/09/2014
The leader of Forest Heath and the cabinet member responsible for housing, have opened one of the latest affordable homes developments in the district.
Barton Mills compressedSix years ago, a local housing needs survey found that some residents in Barton Mills were living in inadequate accommodation, while others had to move away due to a lack of affordable housing in the village.

Forest Heath District Council, and its West Suffolk partner St Edmundsbury Borough Council, are working toward plans to explore building and buying affordable homes, as well as continuing to work with registered providers such as Hastoe Housing to deliver more affordable housing.

On 5 September, Forest Heath leader Cllr James Waters, and Cllr Rona Burt, cabinet member for Planning, Housing and Transport, officially opened the latest Hastoe Housing scheme in Church Lane, Barton Mills.

“This is a great project which has involved Forest Heath and Suffolk Acre, who together approached the parish council about carrying out a housing needs survey. The parish then worked with Hastoe to deliver this scheme on land previously owned by Suffolk County Council.

“The result is six new affordable homes meeting the needs of people who otherwise, may not have been able to remain living in beautiful Barton Mills. All of these homes have gone to local people, and I am delighted to officially open the Church Lane development. It is a real tribute to what can be achieved when councils work together to deliver much needed housing, and it brings a real benefit to the people of the area.”

Cllr Burt, said: “When you talk about housing, you are talking about people’s lives. We know there is an acute need for affordable housing although sometimes it is easy to get lost in the sea of figures, of how many we need, and how many are being delivered.  

“What we really mean is that we want young people  to be able to remain living where they grew up, for families who outgrow one home, to be able to find somewhere new within their community, for older people who have perhaps seen their children fly the nest to be able to downsize into somewhere more manageable as they head towards retirement.

“Without the housing – affordable homes – to meet people’s needs, firms cannot expand and attract new staff, and the economy stagnates. That is why housing schemes such as these are so important to us all.”

The Hastoe development took 18 months to develop. Two of the units were made available on a shared ownership basis, providing local residents with the opportunity to purchase a property in the village which they otherwise would not have been able to afford.

Kevin Hartnett, Business Development Director at Hastoe, said:

“We are pleased to have completed these homes for the local people of Barton Mills who are in need of affordable housing. In areas such as this, private rents and home ownership can often be high and out of reach for some families and overall provision is scarce.The homes are being built with support from the Homes and Communities Agency and West Suffolk District Council.”

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