Small development of 'super-insulated affordable homes' in Warwickshire village is nearing completion

Stratford District Council's rural housing enabler has said that the seven homes in Bearly should be ready to move into this spring.

Latest news.

A small development of super-insulated affordable homes in Bearley is nearing completion according to the district’s rural housing enabler - the person tasked with helping rural communities meet their local housing needs.

Sarah Brooke-Taylor explained that the seven homes in the village, which is on the outskirts of Stratford, should be ready to move into this spring.

Sign up to our daily WarwickshireWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They will be managed by the Warwickshire Rural Housing Association.

In a report for this week’s Stratford District Council overview and scrutiny committee meeting, she said that each of the homes will have triple glazing, solar panels and air source hot water and heating systems which would not only support the council’s zero carbon plans but also mean much lower energy costs for the residents.

She also explained that the scheme was also providing training and jobs for young people with few qualifications - the timber structures had been built by Toolshed, a social enterprise that trains young people not currently in employment, education or training.

This is the first Toolshed scheme in the Midlands and has led to them opening a training centre in Stratford.

She added: “This report sets out the most effective way of deploying resources to enable local communities to progress housing activities in their areas.

"Such schemes are the only way smaller rural communities can meet their housing needs.”

Councillors at this week’s meeting also heard about some of the challenges in finding potential sites for rural housing which included some landowners being unwilling to sell at a price that would ensure the financial viability of a rural scheme instead holding out for ‘hope value’.

Some sites identified as suitable for development by individual parish councils might not be deemed suitable for planning reasons and there was sometimes a tension within communities between residents opposed to new development and others who recognised the need for more affordable housing.

The post of rural housing enabler is funded by Stratford District Council but they are employed by Warwickshire Rural Community Council (WRCC). Their role is to liaise with parish and town councils, undertaking needs surveys and helping to identify suitable sites for development.