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Valley Cottages shaping up

Applications have opened for a new development of affordable homes at Winterbourne Abbas, near Dorchester.

Stonewater Homes is building 13 properties in the village with a mix of shared ownership and affordable rented properties – including much sought after one-bedroom houses.

The ‘Valley Cottages’ development is due for completion in November but people can apply for the properties now.

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Leading social housing provider Stonewater has worked closely with the Dorset Council, and its predecessor West Dorset District Council, on Valley Cottages.

Award-winning Glossbrook Builders, based in Bournemouth, is the main contractor on the project.

It has a 30-strong team on the site, including four apprentices in construction, plumbing and groundworking.

Both the former West Dorset District Council and Homes England have given funding for the development.

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones said: “Affordable housing schemes such as Valley Cottages are very welcome indeed.

“They help ensure the continued vibrancy and vitality of our rural communities at a time when many local people find it difficult to afford property and small schools, local shops and village pubs are struggling to survive.

“It is encouraging to see the progress being made at Valley Cottages and I look forward to seeing the first people move in.”

Gemma North, sales executive at Stonewater, gave Opening Doors a tour of Valley Cottages.

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The development is tucked away at the western end of the village on side road off the A35. The homes are built along a main road which curves around on a slight incline through the site.

They are designed to be in keeping in their surroundings in the village and include such character features as flint from Cerne Abbas.

Glossbrook Builders has completed construction of the houses and is now focusing on fitting out the interiors, landscaping, garden walls and fixtures and fittings.

A wildlife bank at the top of Valley Cottage rests behind a retaining wall built of reclaimed beams and wood, and will be maintained by Stonewater

Each property with have two allocated car parking spaces. With a mix of one, two and three bedroom rented and shared ownership properties, Stonewater hopes to attract a range of local people to Valley Cottages.

This may include older people downsizing, young people renting while saving for a deposit or working families who want to be in close reach of Dorchester or Bridport.

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Stonewater manages about 32,000 homes in England for more than 65,000 people, including affordable properties for general rent, shared ownership and sale, alongside specialist accommodation such as retirement and supported living schemes for older and vulnerable people, young people’s foyers and women’s refuges.

Opening Doors aims to encourage the construction of 20,000 more homes of all tenures by 2033 across north, south and west Dorset.

Don’t forget to sign the Opening Doors Home Ownership Register for latest details about new homes for sale and rent.

Visit the Stonewater website for more details about Valley Cottages or contact Gemma on gemma.north@stonewater.org and 023 8065 8858.

Many thanks to Gemma North and Stonewater for the tour of Valley Cottages.

* Find out more about Valley Cottages and other properties available through Stonewater at a roadshow event at Dorset County Hospital from 11am to 2pm on Thursday August 15. Magna Housing and Opening Doors will also be at the event in the hospital’s Damers restaurant.  It is open to all, including hospital staff and visitors.