North Shropshire community leads new rural housing development
A new community-led rural housing development will be delivered in north Shropshire within the next two years.
Prees Parish Council, working in conjunction with The Wrekin Housing Trust and Shropshire Council, are beginning preliminary work on their much-needed affordable housing development within the parish.
The announcement coincides with Rural Housing Week, which this year celebrates Building for Rural Communities, and is a national initiative intended to shine a spotlight on the benefits of affordable housing and the positive impact it has on rural communities.
Shropshire has a shortage of affordable housing, due largely to the widening gap between average household incomes and average property prices throughout the county. To help tackle this issue, Shropshire Council set up the Right Home, Right Place initiative, which runs surveys in each parish across Shropshire to identify and address the housing needs of its residents.
Following the survey in Prees in 2018, which identified the need for new affordable housing in the parish, the Parish Council and Shropshire Council worked together to determine the best organisation to deliver the housing. Following that process, The Wrekin Housing Trust has been selected to deliver the project.
A project board, which includes members of Prees Parish Council, Shropshire Council and Wrekin Housing Trust, will be established to oversee the development and, following a parish council meeting on 16 July, the board will be seeking additional representation from the wider local community. With this in place, the board will work together to identity the best location, scale and composition of properties before entering the planning and build phases.
Ray Hirons, Chair of Prees Parish Council said:
“We have been working with Shropshire Council for over a year to identify the need for more affordable housing in Prees. We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be working with The Wrekin Housing Trust to create much-needed high quality new homes, which will benefit the community of Prees for years to come.”
Steve Swann, Development Manager at The Wrekin Housing Trust said:
“It’s great to have been selected by Prees Parish Council to deliver this project. We look forward to working with them to finalise the features of the development and deliver more affordable rural housing in Shropshire.”
Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and strategic planning, said:
“We are committed to reducing the shortage of affordable housing in Shropshire. It’s fantastic to be able to support parish councils and help them partner with suitable housing providers to deliver high quality housing for communities across Shropshire. We’re looking forward to seeing this project with Prees Parish Council and The Wrekin Housing Trust come to fruition soon.”