Work set to start on rural housing development in Prees

Work on a new community-led rural housing development in Prees is set to get under way later this month.

Proposed layout of the Prees site
Proposed layout of the Prees site

Residents are working with The Wrekin Housing Group and Shropshire Council to put the final touches to plans for 27 new energy efficient homes in Whitchurch Road.

The development will offer a mix of one, two and three-bedroom houses and bungalows that will be available for affordable rent and shared ownership.

Priority will be given to people with a connection to the local area.

The announcement coincides with Rural Housing Week.

The theme this year is committed to rural communities, highlighting organisations’ dedication to providing affordable homes that keep vital rural services alive.

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 the county to identify and address the housing needs of its residents.

A project board, which is made up of residents and volunteers, members of Prees Parish Council, Shropshire Council and The Wrekin Housing Group, was established to oversee the development.

Charlotte Prince, project manager at The Wrekin Housing Group, said: "We are delighted to be able to shortly start work on the Whitchurch Road development, which will provide high quality homes for local people.

"Due to their complexity, rural schemes of this nature are difficult to progress so it’s testament to the fantastic support we receive from our partners which is bringing these developments to fruition.

"This is great site for new housing which will provide the homes that the area needs to meet local demand and also help sustain local services."

Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for physical infrastructure, highways and built housing, added: "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."

Affordable housing is in growing demand throughout the county, as it is in many other parts of the UK, primarily due to the widening gap between the average household income and the average house price.

In Whitchurch, the average house price is £180,000, while the average household income is £26,865, making a typical house price 6.7 times more than the average income.

In Prees specifically, the affordability ratio of seven is even higher.

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