Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
Hawkwell homes ‘out of our reach’
6:00am Tuesday 1st October 2013 in Echo News
A HOUSING development in Hawkwell has been slammed for pricing first time buyers out of the market.
Three-bedroom homes on Christmas Tree Farm, now known as Clements Gate, will start at £330,000, with prices soaring past £500,000 for a five bed home.
Rochford District Council needs to build 2,785 homes over the next decade and has called for 35 per cent of them to be affordable homes.
The council needs homes for younger and future generations in the district to encourage them to stay in the area, but some feel modest homes in excess of £300,000 won’t help that cause.
Eddie Short, 66, of Ironwell Lane, has lived in Hawkwell for 30 years. He was part of the Hawkwell Parish Planning Group that opposed the developments from the start.
He said: “People want to get on the ladder, and, if they choose to live in Hawkwell, £300,000 is absolutely ridiculous and is not going to allow that.
“The prices are unbelievable. What’s going to happen is private landlords will come in, and then it will be let, let, let. As long as the council and developer get to build, they just don’t care.”
Richard Hill, chairman of the Christmas Tree Farm Development Action Group, said: “When we were protesting against the development I received alot of e-mails from people saying these houses would be for their children, but could they afford these? It will put them off staying here.
“The starting prices for these houses won’t be within reach of the people they were targeted at.”
The Clements Gate site will have 175 homes, with 62 being made affordable through housing group Chelmer Housing Partnership.
Two-bed homes will be available through CHP, but prices won’t be known until the properties are handed over to them by David Wilson Homes early next year.
Councillor John Mason, whose ward takes in the development site, said that the 2011 census showed the number of people aged up to 18 rose by only 186.
He added: “If they are for our children, how can they afford it? How affordable is it for anyone else who doesn’t want to go through a social landlord?
“I’ve met some residents over the past few days, and one lady asked me ‘how are children going to be able to stay in the area?’”
Councillor Keith Hudson, in charge of planning at Rochford, said he didn't expect first time buyers would look to buy at the site, but would encourage people to use the shared ownership options available as a way of getting on the housing ladder.
He added: “It’s an excellent way to get on the ladder. You share the burden with the housing association.
“You can have a shared equity situation where you can buy a percentage of the property, and then pay a smaller amount of rent.”
Comments are closed on this article.