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Council’s pride at new homes for local people

NEW HOME: Tori Hamblin with her children Phoebe-Grace and Isabella-Rose ANL-151222-113329001
NEW HOME: Tori Hamblin with her children Phoebe-Grace and Isabella-Rose ANL-151222-113329001

A councillor has expressed his pride at a successful housing scheme for local people, with the development’s newest residents delighted with their new home.

The newest residents to move into the “much-needed” rural housing scheme developed by Suffolk Housing in Whatfield have spoken of their delight at moving into a community they know well.

Tori Hamblin has moved into a two-bedroom house in Sheckie Meadow, Whatfield, with her partner Karl Martin and their two children Phoebe-Grace, four, and one-year-old Isabella-Rose.

The family relocated after outgrowing their previous home and are enjoying the extra space their new property provides, fast becoming part of the village community.

“Our previous house was a very small two bedroom-place, and the children were crammed in like sardines and only had about 30cm of space between their beds,” said Miss Hamblin, 25. “Our new place is absolutely lovely and so much bigger – we’re really happy with it.

“My partner grew up in Hadleigh, so knows the area well and it’s nice for him to live nearby again. Our daughter now goes to the village school and is making lots of friends, which is great, while I’m planning to take over running the local mother and toddler group next year.

“We’ve settled in well and it’s a really nice community to live in.”

Suffolk Housing worked with development company Iceni Homes, Whatfield Parish Council and Thurlow Architects to develop the six-home scheme which would complement the village’s existing buildings.

The project cost £900,000 to complete, which included a £120,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.

The scheme has been allocated as an exception site, which means that the properties must always be let to people with a connection to the local area.

Ray Parker, chairman of Whatfield Parish Council, said: “Whatfield Parish Council is immensely proud of Sheckie Meadow and so pleased with every aspect.

“They are beautiful homes; not only do they look exactly like the initial sketch drawn by the architect, but importantly they fit in perfectly with our village, nestled in opposite the primary school.

“It was essential to us to be able to provide affordable homes for people with a connection to Whatfield.”

Sue Philp, operations director with Suffolk Housing, said: “At Suffolk Housing, we have a strong tradition of supporting our rural communities by providing affordable housing so that people can remain living in the village of their choice.

“This is good news not only for the tenants themselves, but also for village life, as it helps maintain demand for key services such as shops, schools, post offices and pubs, in turn making them more viable.

“The scheme at Whatfield is a shining example of what can be achieved when housing associations and local people work together.

“The parish council has been really supportive right from the start.”

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