Tour takes in top Winchester housing scheme

Press Release: 29/05/2014

Affordable housing in West Meon

A Winchester affordable housing scheme listed among the top 50 in the country will star in a two-district tour in early June.

The scheme at Storey’s Meadow, West Meon, is one of five rural housing projects in the Winchester and East Hampshire Districts that will feature in the visit for parish councils on Friday 6 June. Twelve parishes from the Winchester district are taking part: Durley, Owslebury, Whiteley, Wickham, Droxford, Bishop’s Waltham, Kings Worthy, Bramdean & Hinton Ampner, Hambledon, Shedfield, Cheriton, and Colden Common.

The aim of the tour is for parish representatives to see first-hand how affordable housing in rural villages can look and work in practice and to talk to officers involved in developing the schemes, with a view to progressing a scheme in their own parish.

The 10-home West Meon project, completed in November 2012, was featured by Inside Housing magazine in April 2014 as one of the top 50 affordable housing developments in the United Kingdom.

The £1.3m scheme is on a ‘rural exception’ site within the South Downs National Park. It uses traditional materials to complement the surroundings and features a mixture of flats, houses and a bungalow all let at social rents. Challenges during the development included the presence of a Saxon burial site at which a Bronze Age cremation urn was discovered and the need for a special dormouse bridge.

The tour is being organised by HARAH, the Hampshire Alliance for Rural Affordable Housing, and will also include visits to Houghton Gardens at Wickham in the Winchester district as well as schemes at West Tisted, Binsted and Bentley in East Hampshire.

HARAH is also organising a display of information about rural affordable housing in the Winchester Guildhall during the National Housing Federation’s Rural Housing Week, from 30 June 2014.

All the schemes have been developed by the Hyde Group for the HARAH partnership working closely with Parish Councils and the local community. HARAH was formed in 2005, its main aim being to provide affordable housing for local people in the rural parishes of Hampshire, helping to ensure local people are able to afford to live in the places in which they were brought up, and in doing so to help strengthen rural communities.