North Cerney – Golden brick laying

Cirencester Housing is working with Parish Councils and Cotswold District Council to bring 12 new affordable homes to the village of North Cerney.

The lack of affordable homes is a big problem affecting the rural communities across England and this is no less the case here in the Cotswolds. There are many factors, including limited investment in delivering affordable homes, that have contributed to this crisis and many local households, who are critical to the welfare of their communities, are forced to move due to the lack of suitable or affordable homes.

Cotswold District Council granted funding to support the completion of Cirencester Housing’s scheme in North Cerney; this funding plays a big part in ensuring that these will always be affordable homes for local people. Cirencester Housing are proud to have engaged Quatro architects to design the scheme and are pleased to announce that Harpers and Sons began work on the site April 2019.

That affordable homes can be built in rural areas like North Cerney, is thanks to the hard work of a lot of people desiring and enabling delivery of schemes like this, as well as the generosity of landowners who provide Rural Exception Sites for these homes to be built on.

Gloucestershire Rural Community Council’s Rural Housing Enabler facilitated a public consultation to understand the local housing needs. A joint project to identify land and deliver affordable housing was agreed by North Cerney Parish Council, Bagendon Parish Council, Cirencester Housing, Cotswold District Council and the wider community. This consultation helped Cirencester Housing ensure that the homes will not only look beautiful but that they will also be the right mix of houses and flats that the community needs.

There will be a total of 12 affordable homes on the site – 10 houses and flats for affordable rent and 2 houses for shared ownership – all of which will be prioritised for people with a local connection. The builders are on site right now and Cirencester Housing hopes that all the homes will be completed and ready to move into by early 2020.

We held a Golden Brick event this morning to share the importance of rural affordable housing schemes and will hold other information events, as well as updates on their website, to keep local people involved with the development’s progress.

The completion of the homes won’t be the end of Cirencester Housing’s involvement in North Cerney. Maureen Margrie, Cirencester Housing’s Chief Executive, explained: “Cirencester Housing, as a not-for-profit housing association, builds small numbers of community-focussed and affordable homes in villages and rural areas, helping people stay in their local area, ensuring that the homes are always affordable and keeping rural communities together. We are delighted to be building new homes in North Cerney and we will continue to manage these homes once they have been built, for many years to come.”

Thank you to everyone who came to support the event, to the Bathurst Arms and to all of the people that are making this rural affordable scheme possible.