Historic Pucklechurch housing development complete

A new housing development steeped in World War Two history has been completed by Homes for the South West member LiveWest, in partnership with construction company, United, and South Gloucestershire Council.

The Moorings in Pucklechurch, South Gloucestershire, is a development of 11 rental and 27 shared ownership homes.

The scheme adjoins open space that includes tethering hooks for Second World War air balloon defences.

RAF Pucklechurch was opened as No 11 Balloon Centre on 9 August 1939 and was one of several opened across Britain to support squadrons that flew barrage balloons as part of the nation’s air defences.

Parachute packs were attached to cables below the balloon to ensure that when an aircraft flew into the cable it would severed, leaving the airplane trailing two empty parachutes which would cause the plane to crash.

A ripcord would at the same time pull open a patch on the side of the balloon, ensuring it would float to earth and allow its recovery.

The largest housing association in the South West, LiveWest, joined forces with construction company, United, and received support from South Gloucestershire Council to create the affordable homes for local people.

The completion of the 38 new homes follows another LiveWest housing development completed on a nearby site in Pucklechurch in April 2019, which provided eight flats and 12 homes for affordable rent.

The recently completed 27 shared ownership homes will provide new purchasers their first opportunity to buy their own home.

The development benefited from grant-funding from government housing agency Homes England.

Chris Dawson, New Business Manager for LiveWest, said “The new homes at Pucklechurch have breathed new life into this beautiful rural community which has proud historical links with World War Two.

“It has been a pleasure to have contributed to the area’s history by enhancing the neighbouring grade 2 listed World War Two balloon tethering as part of the development.

“Rural house building can be key to the survival of vital community assets and services, such as schools, post officers and pubs and we know these homes have made a difference.

“We have got a great relationship with the council who sold us the market site for 100 per cent affordable and they were supportive throughout the planning process.

“We know how affordable rural homes make a difference to local people who need to stay in the area where they work, have lived or have family connections.

“We are proud to be making a difference by improving the affordable housing market in an area where local are being increasingly priced out of purchasing homes.”

South Gloucestershire Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, Cllr Ben Stokes, said: “I am delighted to hear that these new, affordable homes in Pucklechurch are now almost completely occupied.

“It’s important that we deliver affordable housing in rural areas to ensure that future generations of local people are able to stay in or move to these communities and help contribute to the countryside economy.

“This rural affordable housing has been delivered in partnership between the Council and one of our housing association partners, LiveWest, and has made excellent use of former Council land.

“The development was funded by Homes England along with around £400,000 that the Council provided from the Housing Enabling Developer Contributions fund.”