West Dorset MP visits Abri’s completed community development

Chris Loder MP for West Dorset and Dorset Council’s Cabinet Lead Member for Housing and Homelessness, Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, joined representatives from Abri and the Broadwindsor Group Parish Community Land Trust (CLT) to mark the completion of a new community-owned development in Drimpton.

The 15, one, two and three-bed affordable homes were delivered in partnership by Abri, one of the south’s largest housing providers, and the Broadwindsor Group Parish CLT. Supported by funding by Dorset Council and through Abri’s Strategic Partnership with Homes England, the new homes are for people with a close connection to the Broadwindsor parish area to enable local people to remain in their community.

On the development, Chris Loder MP for West Dorset said:

“The demand for high quality, affordable homes for people is great in West Dorset. I was delighted to visit this new development and see how the partnership between Abri, the CLT and Dorset Council has enabled members of my community to remain in their local area. Hearing directly from the customers who have recently moved in, it was clear to see just how much of a positive impact these homes will have on their lives.”

Ralph Facey, Abri’s Executive Director – Operations, said:

“Abri is all about creating thriving communities and empowering lives. Working with community partners like CLT’s are so important to ensuring more quality, affordable housing is available in rural locations where local people can be priced out of their own communities. It was a pleasure to welcome Chris Loder MP to this development to meet those involved and speak to the customers who will benefit from these homes and be able to grow and thrive in their community.”

The 15 homes have been built with sustainable features including solar panels and air source heat pumps. All homes also benefit from an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A, supporting customers to reduce energy consumption and costs.

Rowland Hibbard, Chairman of Broadwindsor Group Parish CLT said:

“I’m delighted to see our parish’s vision become a reality. Broadwindsor Group Parish CLT was set up as a direct response to the lack of affordable homes in our surrounding parishes. We wanted to support our local people to remain local, ensuring they could live and work in the area where they grew up. With thanks to our partnership with Abri, we’ve been able to make this happen for 15 families. These homes will continue to provide quality, affordable and sustainable homes for generations to come.”

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, Lead Member for Housing and Homelessness, at Dorset Council said:

“This is yet another example of working collaboratively with our partners. Over time from the planning stage through to the development we’ve all endeavoured to work together to deliver these homes. This development will give people in this rural community, the opportunity to rent locally and to stay local. This is a grass roots project through and through with input from the Broadwindsor Group Parish CLT. From the very beginning, people with local knowledge and passion for the area have helped make this a reality and changed lives.” 

Abri managed the build process of the homes, supported by C G Fry who undertook the construction. The CLT own the freehold of the development site and have entered into a long lease with Abri who will maintain and manage the homes and tenancies.