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Ash Building Boom for Affordable-Rent and Shared-Owner Homes

Published on: 1 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 2 Mar, 2021

The Sovereign Housing Association building site off White Lane, Ash Green

By David Reading

In a £14.5 million regeneration project, 60 homes are being built on a disused stables and paddock in Grange Road, Ash, 28 for affordable rent and 32 for shared ownership.

The Sovereign Housing Association bought the 5.2-hectare site, to develop in partnership with the Thakeham Group.

Ward borough Cllr Paul Spooner said: “While I am disappointed at the loss of the paddocks and more green space in Ash South, permission was granted and I do welcome a scheme that offers a mix of housing.

“In these challenging times, I hope Thakeham and Sovereign will take into account those who are local to our area. It would be great to see these units filled by local people who need a home.”

The on-site advert for Ashberry Homes.

A Sovereign statement said: “With house prices in the Ash area sitting at £478,062, much higher than the national average of £263,633, affordable homes are in huge demand in Guildford borough, with 2,534 families on the waiting list.”

Collection of safety warnings

Occupation of the one- and two-bed flats, and two-, three- and four-bed houses is planned to start early next year.

Work on another development in Ash Green, on land off White Lane, has not been without problems, including wide worries about the considerable amount of building in the area.

See also: Heavy Construction Lorries Put Weak Ash Green Bridge At Risk

Borough council planners had refused the application by Ashberry Homes, part of Bellway Homes Ltd, amid concerns about the housing mix. The Strategic Housing Market Assessment requirement for one- and two-bed affordable homes is 70 per cent.

The council also cited the need for young people to get on the housing ladder and for older people downsizing to find more affordable homes away from the town.

But the developers won on appeal and now Ashberry is building 59 properties, including 24 affordable homes, at Chestnut Grove. The 24 will be one- and two-bed maisonettes and two- and three-bed houses for local people through rent or shared ownership. The 35 larger homes are for private sale and the development will include a children’s play area.

Covid social distancing reminder

The company will contribute a seven-figure sum to local services, including £330,000 to provide open space, £590,000 towards the new road and footbridge at Ash railway station, £432,476 for education, and £43,000 to increase capacity at Border Practice Medical Centre in Aldershot.

Cllr Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas), lead for Housing and Development, said: “Although we feel we made the right decision refusing the scheme, we welcome the contributions to local services.”

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