Coldwaltham residents welcomed much-needed affordable homes when social housing provider Stonewater cut the ribbon on eight new homes in Shackleton Close on Tuesday afternoon (20 November).
A number of local stakeholders, including local authority councillors, parish councillors, and staff and pupils from a local school, joined residents for the celebration.
The development takes its name from the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, the principal figure during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, who has historic links to the village.
Shackleton’s family lived in the parish and were buried in St Giles’ Church graveyard next to Coldwaltham School. In light of this, members of Coldwaltham Parish Council suggested Shackleton Close would be fitting road name.
Having studied Shakleton’s adventures, children from the primary school in Coldwaltham helped renowned West Sussex chainsaw carver Dave Lucas from the Woodland Centre to design a wonderful finishing-touch to the development.
The bespoke wooden artwork, representing an oak chest from Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, was unveiled at Tuesday’s event. The chest is believed to have been taken on one of Shackleton’s Antarctic voyages.
Shackleton Close provides four two-bedroom homes and four three-bedroom properties at a low-cost, affordable rent. The properties will be available for local families nominated by Horsham District Council.
The new homes help meet the high demand for affordable housing in South Downs National Park, and were part-funded with grants from Homes England and Horsham District Council, which provided £142,888 and £100,000, respectively.
Designed by Winchester-based architects CHDP and constructed by Eastbourne-based contractor Trinity Homes, the properties reflect Stonewater’s commitment to provide high-quality homes at an affordable price. Each unit features top-quality amenities, generous green space, beautiful rear gardens and plenty of parking spaces for residents and visitors.
Shackleton Close is Stonewater’s second affordable housing development in Coldwaltham to be delivered in recent years. Piers Secombe Close, adjacent to Shackleton Close, was completed in 1996 and provided six affordable homes for the community.
These projects, along with others across West Sussex, are helping deliver Stonewater’s aim of supporting communities and neighbourhoods throughout the county, transforming lives of local people whose needs are not met by the market.
James Bradbury, Deputy Director of Development at Stonewater, said, “Today marked an important landmark in Stonewater’s continued efforts to provide affordable homes for people in the Coldwaltham and South Downs National Park area.
“It was wonderful to spend time with the local community, especially the pupils from St James’ Primary School, who made a very important contribution to this development.”
Cllr Tricia Youtan, Cabinet Member for Community and Wellbeing at Horsham District Council, said, “At present, the demand for affordable homes in our area exceeds supply, so these properties are very much welcomed. They will provide eight households with high quality housing from which they can lead fulfilling lives, close friends and family.”