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Hereburgh Way, Harbury, Stratford

Working with new delivery mechanisms.

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The project

Completed: 2011

Homes: 13 new homes, comprising two-, three- and four-bedroom houses and bungalows for social rent

Funding: HCA, housing association and local market cross subsidy

Features: The homes are all built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3, with energy efficient air source heating and sustainable drainage systems.

Respecting the wishes of villagers, the development incorporated local design features and materials, including the use of local stone, gable windows, and canopy porches, to ensure the new homes were in keeping with surrounding properties and the atmosphere of the village as a whole.

There are no visual differences between the social rented and local market homes.

The story

Midlands Rural worked with Warwickshire Rural Housing Association (WRHA) and Stratford-on-Avon DC to build these homes under its “Local Choice” initiative, an innovative approach which allows members of the community to promote development plans that meet their identified local housing needs.

Following the completion of the Housing Needs Survey, Harbury Parish Council wanted assurances of how the s106 agreement would be applied and that we would indeed be housing people with a local connection.

Working in partnership with the County Council and Linfoot Homes, Midlands Rural took on board the concerns of the Parish Council and worked with land owners and local authority agencies to take forward a development on land that the community had chosen. It was important that the views of the Parish Council were heard, as real concerns that a relatively large development would swamp the village led to an agreement that a phased approach would be undertaken.

Similarly, it was important that the tenure mix was agreed with the Parish Council, as was the need to build local market homes as part of Phase 1 to help fund the additional infrastructure requirements needed to service all phases.

The Parish Council has its own village design statement with specific information on building design and material finishes, and strong views on incorporating open space and footpath links to the rear playing fields. It was crucial that these guidelines were reflected in proposals, and that there should be no visual differences between the social rented homes and private local market homes. This was seen as crucial if we were to engage the community in building further phases.

One of the first tenants to be allocated a home was Anna Scholder-Harper, 24, who suffers from cerebral palsy and needs 24-hour support. Anna said: “I was living with my dad in the village before, but it is brilliant to have my own space. I’m really pleased with it.”

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