Ribbon-cutting marks completion of 48 sought-after affordable homes in Swindon

By Anita Jaynes on 26 August, 2016

Leading social housing provider Stonewater joined representatives from Swindon Borough Council and housebuilders Mi-space at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of 48 new affordable homes for rent and shared ownership at St Quentin Close in Stratton-St-Margaret, Swindon. The properties, which are close to the Honda plant in Highworth Road, are being given priority to local people in need of affordable housing in the area.

Stonewater’s new St Quentin’s Close housing community has been built on the site of a redundant council works depot and offers a mix of 21 one- and two-bedroom apartments and 22 two-, three- and four-bedroom houses for affordable rent.

A further five Stonewater properties – three two-bedroom and two three-bedroom houses – are also being offered for affordable shared ownership. This is a low cost, part rent, part buy scheme which is designed to help people get a foot on the property ladder by enabling them to purchase a share of their property and pay a reduced rent on the remaining portion. The shareholding can also be increased over time until the home is owned outright.

“Interest in St Quentin Close has been overwhelming and the development is already oversubscribed,” said Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director of Development. “The fact that so many local people have applied for these properties highlights a real need for more truly affordable homes in the area where many local people with a connection to Swindon, are being priced out of the housing market. We are delighted to have completed these much-needed homes and look forward to working with the Council and our construction partners to create more affordable homes where they are most needed in the Borough.”

Each of the new Stonewater homes in St Quentin Close has been built to a Sustainable Code Level 3 standard, making them energy-efficient and cheaper to run. The houses have their own private garden and all the properties have allocated parking and share a natural play area for children living in the development. St Quentin Close is also served by good bus and train services and the development is within easy access to local schools, shops, services and businesses in Stratton-St-Margaret and Swindon.

“We have been working closely with Stonewater to help them deliver this development so I was delighted to be asked to attend the official opening,” said Councillor Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness. “These homes will help those who are struggling to get on the property ladder and will directly benefit people who are on our housing waiting list.”

The £6.2 million affordable housing scheme has been financed by Stonewater with a £330,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency and £66,000 from the Recycled Capital Grant Fund. The scheme created an estimated average of 40 local jobs during its two-year construction.

Rob Bradley, Executive Director of Mi-space added: “Mi-space is delighted to have worked with Stonewater to deliver this high quality project. We are very proud of the design and construction standards achieved which are clearly being appreciated by the residents. This project demonstrates our ability to deliver industry leading performance for the benefit of our clients and the community.”

Stonewater, which has offices in Swindon, currently owns and manages 971 properties in the Borough. Visit them online at: www.stonewaterwater.org

Pictured above from left to right: Jonathan Layzell, Stonewater’s Executive Director of Development; resident Tracy Fitton and Cllr Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council.