Christine Turner, Chairman of Spectrum Premier Homes, the development subsidiary of Spectrum Housing Group said: “Damer Close has cost just over £1m to build and we are very grateful for funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to the sum of £225,000 and RCGF (Recycled Capital Grant Funding) of £130,000. Spectrum has invested over £650,000. Providing homes in rural areas is crucial and we are very pleased that we have been able to provide these homes.”
Nominations to the properties were made by North Dorset District council to people with a local connection.
Cllr Su Hunt, Chairman at North Dorset District Council, said: “The original idea for a community led development around Millennium Green has been circulating for at least 10 years but due to a series of practical and financial barriers it’s taken a while to come forward. North Dorset District Council and Spectrum Housing Group however remained committed to delivering an opportunity for a local needs affordable housing scheme. This has been designed by a local practice – Western Design- and was supported through the process by Milton Abbas Parish council.
“This finished scheme as you can see now provides 6 families with the opportunity to live in new, well insulated houses provided with generous gardens and wonderful views over this beautiful landscape and represents a successful partnership between parish and district councils as well as Spectrum and their designer.”
Western Design were the architects and Employer’s agent was Ellis Belk for this scheme comprising 4 x 3-bedroom houses and 2 x 2 bedroom houses – providing homes for over 20 people. They have been built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 by Dorset-based contractors, C G Fry & Son.
Michael Dear, Commercial Director for C G Fry & Son, said: “We are delighted to have been part of this project with Spectrum, particularly as it is based in our home county of Dorset and will provide much-needed affordable homes to the local community. For energy savings we installed air source heat pumps with radiators in each of the properties. The project went well and we enjoyed working with the Spectrum team.”
The National Housing Federation recently ran an awareness week to highlight some of the issues rural housing providers face, with the launch of their report - Rural Housing: Countryside in Crisis, illustrating the impact of the housing crisis in rural areas. It covers affordability and issues with workers and families being priced out, the increase of second homes, fuel poverty and ageing populations. The findings are available on the National Housing Federation’s website together with an opportunity to support their Yes to Homes campaign.
People are still in the position that they need to earn 13.5 times their salary to afford an average property in North Dorset (NHF Home Truths Report 2013/14) and there are over 1,200 people waiting for a home in the area.
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