New affordable homes in Sharnbrook Opened

Cllr Doug McMurdo opens new Passivhaus Hastoe homes in the village of Sharnbrook.

13 new Hastoe homes were opened in the village of Sharnbrook on Friday to mark the close of Rural Housing Week 2018.

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Speaker of Bedford Borough Council, planted a fruit tree in the grounds to officially celebrate the opening of the village’s new homes. Nine of the homes are let at affordable rents, or are shared ownership properties, for people who live or work in the local area.

The development was based around a local housing needs survey, which identified a requirement for more affordable homes in the Sharnbrook Parish for local people. House prices in Bedford Borough are estimated at 8.5 times average earnings.

The Government’s new national housing agency, Homes England, provided £98,500 to help build the new homes, while Bedford Borough Council also contributed £67,650 to allow the development to go ahead.

All the homes are built to the ultra energy efficient Passivhaus standard. This cuts residents’ fuel bills to as little as £130 per year.

Cllr McMurdo was joined by Hastoe Chair, Ed Buscall, Chair of the Planning Committee at Sharnbrook Parish Council, Ann Mayhew, as well as local residents and councillors to celebrate the opening of the homes.

Ed Buscall, Chairman of Hastoe Housing Association, said:

It’s a privilege to see these new homes opened in Sharnbrook. Local people have confidence that the majority of new homes will be reserved for local people at affordable rents or shared ownership. The quality design and very high energy efficiency also ensure this is a quality development that local people can be proud of.”

“In Rural Housing Week, we need to send the message out loud and clear that we need more quality, affordable homes in our rural communities like these in Sharnbrook”.

Paul Kitson, General Manager for the South East at Homes England, said:

“Homes England is committed to working in partnership with organisations to enable the delivery of homes to meet the needs of local communities. The funding that we provided has not only helped to deliver much needed affordable housing for people in the village of Sharnbrook but thanks to the Passivhaus standard achieved will ensure residents monthly energy bills are kept to a minimum.”

Alistair Burt MP said:

“I was disappointed not to be able to attend this very special opening in Sharnbrook due to an urgent Ministerial commitment, but I am delighted that this development of energy efficient, affordable and shared ownership properties are now available for Sharnbrook residents. The partnership working from central Government, local Authority and Hastoe Housing Association is very welcome indeed here in NE Bedfordshire and I look forward to getting a chance to visit very soon.”

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