Affordable housing boost in Beer

PUBLISHED: 11:23 13 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:25 18 June 2010

THE need for more affordable housing in Beer was addressed at a meeting last week. Adrian Maunders, the Chief Executive of English Rural, gave a presentation to members of the public and parish councillors about the possibility of building more social hou

THE need for more affordable housing in Beer was addressed at a meeting last week.

Adrian Maunders, the Chief Executive of English Rural, gave a presentation to members of the public and parish councillors about the possibility of building more social housing.

A development at Short Furlong was completed in the village in 2005 but parish councillors have long campaigned for more to be built.

Hopes for a further development were dashed when the Rural Housing Trust, the company behind the scheme, decided to wind down all activity last year.

However, English Rural has taken over all RHT projects and Mr Maunders outlined the future of affordable housing in the village.

He said: "It might not seem like it but now is actually a very good time to think about rural affordable housing-our programme is the largest it has ever been."

Mr Maunders said a site is needed to be identified in the village, which would involve liasing with local landowners, but the entire process could be relatively quick as Beer already has the experience.

Early plans are focusing on using land next to the Short Furlong social housing, but Mr Maunders said they would not build it at the expense of the current residents.

Before this however, another Housing Needs Survey will need to be carried out.

Councillor John Wells said: "The housing need is still considerable."

Mr Maunders also said it was essential that the local community is behind the project.

Four Short Furlong residents did bring up a number of concerns about their current affordable houses, including the increase of rent, ground maintenance and some problems left by builders.

Mr Maunders said some of these issues were passed on to ER from the RHT.

But he insisted ER do not make any profit on grounds maintenance and the rent increase is in line with government recommendations.

It was decided to arrange an official face-to-face meeting with residents and English Trust representatives to address any concerns of the tenants.

Anthony Manville, a Short Furlong resident, added: "We're all very happy tenants. There are just some issues we need cleared up but it's a lovely place to live.


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