A village in Suffolk has given the go-ahead for more affordable homes to be built, in a bid to encourage young families to stay in the area.
Residents of Lavenham voted in favour of the new homes – with the proviso that at least one third were affordable homes for young families.
The village is well-loved for its picture postcard timber-framed 16th century houses, but underneath the tourist-pleasing façade the settlement is facing problems.
Chief among these is a lack of affordable housing.
Katherine Eves, who runs the pre-school in Lavenham, told the BBC: "Housing in the area is very expensive. You can't get a house in the village for less than £250,000, and for young families that's a lot of money on the income they have."
Rising house prices and low wages mean that younger people are being priced out of the market, and are forced to seek higher paying jobs and lower cost housing in larger towns and cities.
One third of the village's 1800 residents are over 65 – a statistic that prompted the Parish Council to act. It produced a Neighbourhood Plan and put it to a local referendum. 91 per cent voted in favour of the scheme, which would ensure 35% of all new homes were affordable – that is, with low rents or shared ownership.
Iceni Homes – Supporting Affordable Housing
Here at Iceni Homes we are encouraged by such steps to support affordable housing in urban as well as rural locations such as Lavenham. The village has displayed the kind of positive, collaborative approach necessary to ensure more affordable homes are built.
Actively engaged in the latest Homes and Communities Agency funding round "Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016 to 2021", Iceni Homes is dedicated to building as many high quality, affordable homes as possible for people across East Anglia.
The experience and skill sets of our team put us in a strong position to deliver the needs of multiple stakeholders. Acting as a main contractor, our developments include rural housing, regeneration projects, supported housing, shared ownership, shared equity, Section 106 schemes, housing for market rent and sale, intermediate rent, key worker accommodation and conversion of existing dwellings and refurbishments.