Leicestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Rural Housing Enabler Retires on a High Note

Somerby Affordable Housing Scheme Somerby Affordable Housing Scheme

Richard Windley, who has worked as the Rural Housing Enabler for Leicestershire for the past 8 years is  retiring in May.

  He is leaving on a high note building on previous successes in providing affordable homes for local people in their villages.  

Despite the straitened times and finance becoming increasingly difficult, Richard’s hard work has recently been rewarded with a fl ood of rural affordable homes on Rural Exception Sites in the County. This is thanks in part to Leicestershire County Council allocating their share of the New Homes Bonus, roughly £0.5m for each of the past three years, to funding for affordable rural housing schemes. As a result, the delivery of affordable rural housing on both rural exception and quota sites in Leicestershire is at the highest level ever.   6 sites with some 70 affordable homes prioritised for local people with strong connections to their village are being built.  Schemes for 7 affordable homes at Somerby (Melton Borough) developed by Nottingham Community Housing Association and 11 homes at Sapcote (Blaby) built by East Midlands Housing Association have been completed.
Schemes at Carlton (Hinckley & Bosworth), Husbands Bosworth and Tilton on the Hill (both in Harborough) would not have gone ahead without New Homes Bonus funding. Uniquely, the scheme at Carlton is funded by New Homes Bonus together with fi nance from Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and the Homes and Communities Agency. The Carlton scheme is only going ahead after a Parish Poll proved that the local electors were in favour of affordable housing being provided on the specific site in the village.

The scheme at Ullesthorpe (Harborough) for 6 homes developed by Waterloo Housing Group has also started on site. This is funded by the more conventional means of public subsidy through the  Homes and Communities Agency.  Another project in North Kilworth (Harborough) for 6 homes is worthy of note.  Open market homes will be sold on the same site and will form a cross subsidy for the affordable homes. However, this scheme is still short of a signifi cant amount of money. Should it go ahead, it will be the fi rst Rural Exception Site in the County to be funded in this way.

So, Richard is leaving on a high giving him time to commit to other interests including spending more time helping CPRE.  He is also hoping to represent the interests of CPRE on the board of Leicestershire Rural Housing Association. If you need to contact Richard: Tel 07970079855 or richardwindley (at)yahoo.com

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