Hopes high for new affordable homes

PLANS for affordable housing in Cheddar have taken a massive leap forward this month.

PLANS for affordable housing in Cheddar have taken a massive leap forward this month.

Developers who bought land off Helliers Lane met with councillors who will soon be surveying villagers to find out how many people would like to live there.

Representatives from First Step Homes in Bristol met parish councillors to discuss their plans for the land.

A public consultation will hopefully be taking place in April to show people some pictures and plans of previous affordable housing schemes and a new survey will be carried out in Cheddar to see how demand has changed.

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Councillor Jeff Savage said: "The last survey was carried out in 2005, which showed there was a need for 85 houses.

"But we certainly anticipate the demand has risen since then so a new investigation will need to be carried out.

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"We probably won't be able to survey every household like last time, but hopefully people will register with the district council or perhaps come along to the public meeting."

Affordable housing is a scheme run by councils and other partners and is built for people who may otherwise struggle to purchase a home, such as young families, first time buyers or people on a low income.

The properties are only available to residents of the village or families who have a strong connection with Cheddar.

Cllr Savage added: "There is a stigma attached to affordable housing and people think that 'undesirables' live there. Hopefully when we get a venue and date for a public consultation, villagers will be able to see these houses are built to a high standard and it is people from the area who will be living in them."

First Step Homes is currently in negotiations with Sedgemoor District Council about the project. It is thought the properties will eventually be available for around 60-70 per cent of the open market value.

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