Christmas comes early for Bourne family

A Bourne family is celebrating Christmas in a brand new house - the 100th affordable home to be delivered in South Kesteven this year.

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From left:  Cllr Neilson, Mandy Gee and Mel Baker with Matthew and Melanie Ronan.   

New tenants Matthew and Melanie Ronan's three-bedroom house on Elsea Park in Bourne has been delivered as part of South Kesteven District Council's affordable housing scheme.

SKDC has worked alongside registered housing provider Longhurst Group to deliver the milestone property on Newton Abbott Way, which is part of a Kier Construction site.

In addition, a much anticipated development of 18 one and two bedroom houses and flats has also been completed on land at Trent Road in Grantham's Earlesfield neighbourhood, including a former public house site. Delivered by SKDC, these are all expected to be occupied within weeks.

This year's affordable housing tally includes another first - a partnership with the Burghley Estate to build affordable homes on Barnack Road in Stamford.

Cllr Nick Neilson, SKDC Cabinet Member for Communities, said he was delighted to see the district's 100th property completed: "It would be wonderful to see tenants move in by Christmas and we are doing all we can to make that happen," he said.

"There is enormous demand for more affordable homes across the district and I appreciate all the effort our staff put in to work with registered housing providers, co-ordinate the funding and get them built.

"We are committed to delivering more affordable homes wherever and whenever we can and I am particularly grateful for the work done by our Partnership Project Officer, Mandy Gee."

For the Ronans the move to Newton Abbott Way is a massive relief, as their previous private sector home is being sold. "I could not believe it when we heard this house was available," said Melanie.

 "We feel very lucky. The private sector is now so expensive and, as a family with two children and two dogs, it's not always easy to find anywhere suitable to rent.  This house is really nicely finished. It's beautiful"

Mel Baker, Project Manager at Longhurst Group, added: "We are delighted to be part of this significant milestone and to continue our excellent partnership with South Kesteven District Council and Kier.

"This property is one of 68 affordable homes that we have already delivered at Elsea Park and, alongside Kier and Barratt Homes, we are looking to develop another 37 in the area in the next two years.  As the demand for this type of housing continues to grow, successful partnership working between local authorities, housing groups and developers remains absolutely crucial."  

More than 1,700 affordable new homes have now been delivered by SKDC in the last 17 years, many funded by the Section 106 planning 'levy' imposed on developers to provide community facilities and affordable housing.

The majority are for rent, with around one third for purchase through shared ownership schemes.

The council first built its own affordable homes on Sandon Road in Grantham in 2014/15.

The highest number of homes delivered in a single year was in 2008/9, when 289 homes were built following the global recession and housing market crash, thanks to grant funding released by the Government to allow housing providers to buy over-supply from the private sector.