New homes for local people at Dever Close, Micheldever

Press Release: 10/12/2012

New homes celebrated in Micheldever.

Photo courtesy of the Southern Daily Echo and the Hampshire Chronicle

Winchester Housing Trust has been working in partnership with Winchester City Council and Micheldever Parish Council to develop a rural housing exception site of 15 homes behind Dever Close.

The Trust has a long standing affiliation with the community of Micheldever since the early 1990’s when 13 affordable housing units were built in Dever Close and with a further 4 added in 2003. Many local families from Micheldever have long since benefitted from affordable rent levels and the ability to part own a home which would have otherwise proved impossible in an expensive rural location.

Demand for affordable housing is still high through and there is an urgent need for housing in Micheldever to enable local people to remain within the Community. This need has been highlighted at well attended consultations and information evenings and the interest for this new site has been considerable for both shared equity and rented units.

The properties will only be made available to individuals with a local area connection ensuring they are allocated to the Community for which they are intended. Many families from this area find themselves living in separate parishes because the availability of affordable housing is limited and the price of private dwellings too high. One of the potential shared equity owners suggested that they

just want to come home.

With this in mind, WHT continued to work with The Genesis Design Studio to create a considerately designed development sympathetic to the rural location. In May 2011 the Planning Application was considered and approved by the WCC Planning Development Control Committee subject to formal acquisition of the land by WHT and a Section 106 agreement. That process is now complete and we are delighted this valuable affordable housing development is finally underway. Drew Smith who has extensive experience with rural housing schemes such as this will be developing the site with completion anticipated in December 2013.

As part of the scheme Winchester City Council will be acquiring 5 of the affordable rented units for their New Homes Delivery programme. These houses will be the first new Council houses to be built since the 1980’s and will be a vital asset to local people currently on the housing register,

Cllr Ian Tait, Portfolio Holder for New Homes Delivery said

I am delighted that we have the first five new Council homes being built in the district. This is an excellent partnership scheme that will benefit many local people who cannot currently live in their local area. This is the start of an exciting new time for Council homes and we are working to extend this good work across other parts of the District.

Leanne Smith Chief Executive of Winchester Housing Trust said

I am grateful to everyone who has helped bring this project to development stage. Particular thanks go to Winchester City Council and Micheldever Parish Council for their ongoing support on this exciting and much needed affordable housing project.