Affordable Housing Success for Ashurst Wood!

English Rural Housing Association’s new
development of 12 affordable homes
at Yewhurst20140428_122723 Close, Ashurst Wood will be officially opened at 2.30pm on Tuesday 23rd September by Cllr Jenny Forbes, Chair of Ashurst Wood Parish Council.

The homes are the result of a partnership between English Rural, Ashurst Wood Parish Council, Mid Sussex District Council and Action in Rural Sussex.

The 12 rented homes were completed in March after a build programme of around 10 months.  English Rural will own and manage the development in a way that benefits the local community, ensuring that local people, unable to afford market prices can remain living in the village.

To help achieve this a legal agreement has been put in place, ensuring that households with a genuine local connection will be given priority when the homes are allocated, this agreement will also ensure that homes remain affordable in perpetuity. Ashurst Wood is in the Mid Sussex district and has long been a property hot-spot and has proved popular with many seeking to take advantage of rural life.  The village has maintained many of its services including a primary school, a general shop, post office and several small business premises.  It also benefits from good transport connections from nearby East Grinstead to London and the South East.

20140428_122752_resized

The popularity and accessibility of the village has led to an increasing demand for homes and pushed property prices beyond the means of many local people. English Rural believes that villages should have a balance of income earners and age groups in order to sustain essential services and active communities.

Our new development at Yewhurst Close will help to support village life, by providing affordable rented accommodation that will remain a local resource both now and for future generations. The new homes have been built to current best practice and are highly insulated to minimise fuel bills and meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3.  They have also been designed to achieve a Police ‘Secured by Design’ award.

The homes are designed to ‘Lifetime Homes’ standard, ensuring they offer versatile accommodation to meet the changing needs of residents. The majority of the finance for the project has been provided by English Rural, supported by grant from the Homes & Communities Agency under the National Affordable Housing Programme The properties were designed for English Rural by ECE Architecture and built by Westridge Construction, both Sussex based firms.

Commenting on the success of the development Adrian Maunders Chief Executive of English Rural, said: – “The 12 new homes in Ashurst Wood are an example of what can be achieved if local partners work together to tackle the affordable housing crisis affecting our villages. Particular credit is due to Ashurst Wood Parish Council, for their patience, perseverance and determination to see the project delivered.

Thanks must also be given to Mid Sussex District Council for their strong support throughout the whole process.

The new homes provided have been designed and built to a very high standard, but more importantly will go some way towards helping local households unable to afford market prices in their home community.

Cllr. Jenny Forbes Chair, Ashurst Wood Parish Council said: – “The Parish Council is delighted to have been a part of this project, which has come to fruition after a long and at times frustrating process that began with our housing needs survey in 2007.  The wonderful new homes in Yewhurst Close will be an asset to the village and provide much needed affordable accommodation for members of our community for many years to come.”

“Supporting rural communities in Sussex to be vibrant and diverse places in which to live and work.”