A new housing development – believed to be the largest in the region to offer all properties on an affordable basis – has been launched in Weeting.
The Fenlands is a 1.5-hectare site, previously used as a timber yard, consisting of a mixture of 64 houses, apartments and bungalows, all of which will be available for 80 per cent of market rent or shared ownership.
The first phase of the scheme, which was officially launched yesterday, has seen families move into 11 shared ownership and 12 affordable rent homes, with only four properties still available. The remaining 42 are due to be completed later this year.
As one of the first families to move in, Antony and Kimberley Steventon, and their children, Kyra, 10, Alfie, six, and Bella, two, were given the honour of cutting the ribbon at Monday’s handover celebrations.
Prior to moving, they had been living in a two-bedroom flat and had considered moving out of the Brandon area, where their children were settled in school, if a three-bedroom house did not become available.
“The properties here are desperately needed for local people,” said Mrs Steventon. “We’re hoping to be here for a long time – we’re settled and it already feels like home.”
Wai Man Cheung, associate director of Chaplin Farrant, which designed the scheme using materials and detailing inspired by local architectural styles like the nearby Brandon railway station, said: “This is a really important scheme in the area, delivering much needed standalone affordable housing on vacant brownfield land.”
Jane Warnes, managing director of Cotman Housing Association, part of the Places for People Group, which manages the properties, said she hoped The Fenlands would be used as ‘a blueprint for future affordable developments’.
As the site is close to a Breckland Council Special Protection Area (SPA) for stone-curlew birds, a dog walking route was also incorporated into the scheme.