Celebrating the completion of affordable homes in Kendal
Progress Housing Group, Oakmere Homes and South Lakeland District Council celebrate the completion and handover of 49 affordable new homes for local families in Kendal
This winter, Progress Housing Group is celebrating the completion of 49 affordable new homes at their Strawberry Fields development located in Kendal, South Lakeland, Cumbria.
49 units were acquired by the Group from a total of 148 new family homes built at the site by local housing developer Oakmere Homes.
Of the 49 new homes, 25 were designated affordable rent homes and are now occupied by new tenants. The remaining 24 shared ownership properties were all reserved off-plan, with the new homeowners now starting to move in.
Kendal was a new area of focus during 2020 for Lancashire-based Progress Housing Group who have committed to delivering more than 250 new homes per year by the end of 2023 to increase the provision of good-quality housing in the North of England. The Group’s focus will continue to be social rented homes to help people who are least able to find a home on the open market.
Speaking about the Strawberry Fields development, Councillor Jonathan Brook, South Lakeland District Council’s portfolio holder for Housing and Innovation, said, "It is recognised that there continues to be a high need for affordable housing across South Lakeland. We have made the provision of more affordable homes to rent, particularly for young local families, a key target in our Council Plan. We are on track to deliver our target of 1,000 new affordable homes to rent by 2025. We are delighted to see these much needed homes in Strawberry Fields being occupied as new family homes.
"We feel strongly that SLDC has a critical part to play in maintaining sustainable and balanced communities, ensuring our young people have the opportunity to live and work in the areas where they have grown up. We remain committed to this objective and are studying the Government’s recent Planning White Paper carefully, particularly in reference to potential impacts on affordable housing provision and how our response will seek to safeguard our priorities on this issue.
“The council identifies sites for new housing, through our current land allocations policy. These sites come with the requirement that a percentage of any new homes are affordable. It is very satisfying to see an example of this policy coming to fruition as effectively as it has here."
Director of Development at Progress Housing Group, Daniel Griffiths, added, “We are delighted to have worked with and built up such a strong partnership with Oakmere Homes and South Lakeland District Council to deliver 49 quality affordable homes for local families on the Strawberry Fields site.
“The section 106 agreement ensured that the affordable homes were available to people with connections in the local area, and more local people have had the opportunity to continue living, building careers and raising families in Kendal, which we are incredibly pleased about. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to all our new tenants and shared ownership home owners in Kendal.”
Earlier this year, Alexander Bourne, Commercial Director for Oakmere Homes said, “As a local developer, we work with local engineers, tradesmen and suppliers to help stimulate the local economy. Our developments, along with others, make sizeable contributions towards local infrastructure projects including funding for public open spaces, highways and schools.
“Housing development across Cumbria is helping to support over 5,500 local jobs and with a county-wide investment of over £49 million in new affordable housing, including schemes such as Strawberry Fields, we are also working to provide the much-needed starter / intermediate homes for communities to thrive.”
Speaking about her positive experience of moving into one of the two-bedroom affordable rent homes at Strawberry Fields, new tenant Melanie said, “After months of worry that we couldn’t afford to stay in this area of Kendal, we’re now living in a lovely new home with a large garden, close to my mum and my little boy’s school which means a lot to us – and we couldn’t be happier.”
Earlier in 2020, Progress Housing Group, Oakmere Homes and South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) celebrated the handover of the first 10 affordable rent properties on the Strawberry Fields site with an opening ceremony officiated by Councillor Brook, the Deputy Leader and Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder at SLDC.