MP opens 25 new affordable homes on historic Saffron Walden site

1 July 2011

Sir Alan Haselhurst MP opens a Hastoe Housing Association scheme of twenty five new affordable apartments in Saffron Walden today.  The scheme – built on the original footprint of the historic Bell Language School – provides modern, sustainable homes within a sensitively designed building.  The new building at Lancaster House, which honours the heritage of the site while providing modern affordable homes.The opening ceremony will include a tour of some of the apartments.

Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive of Hastoe, said: “We were granted planning permission for this site just as the downturn hit. It would have been easy to abandon the scheme but we knew how high demand was for affordable housing here so we worked with the developer and Uttlesford District Council to deliver the affordable housing part of the scheme in advance of the homes for sale. Shops, post offices, schools and pubs are disappearing as local people are being priced out of rural communities, so this type of scheme is vitally important.”

Robert Moore, Area Manager for the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “We are pleased to have been involved in the delivery of these quality affordable homes for local people. They are a great example of how partnership working can deliver against real local needs.”

This scheme is an example of how excellence in design and planning can deliver affordable homes for local people in a rural market town. Hastoe is supporting the National Housing Federation Rural Housing Week, 11-15 July, to raise awareness of the value of affordable housing for keeping local communities and villages alive. The week is being coordinated by the National Housing Federation, which represents 1,200 not-for-profit independent housing associations.

The scheme cost £3.28 million with £741,900 provided by the Homes and Communities Agency. The scheme provides a mix of one and two bedroom apartments for rent and shared ownership. The developer is Brookgate (formerly Ashwell); the architect Vincent Gorbing/Simon Ward Architectural Design; the contractor Cocksedge; and, the employer’s agent Davis Langdon.

For more information please contact: Rebecca Beaumont on 020 8973 0437 or
For more information about Rural Housing Week, visit
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