AN AFFORDABLE housing development has finally opened, after being delayed due to coronavirus.

The development at Chevenham Close comprises of 18 new homes, including 10 for shared ownership and eight for affordable rent, close to the Malvern Hills.

The £2 million development was supported by grant funding from Homes England and building started on site in September 2019, and was expected to be ready for the first residents to move in in August 2020.

Eamon Thompson, spokesman for the social landlord Platform Housing Group, which is behind the scheme, said: “These new homes will help to meet the need for affordable rented housing in this rural area of Herefordshire as well as helping the over 55s access home ownership via shared ownership.”

Back in 2017, when plans were first revealed, Fortis Living, as Platform Housing was then known as, the close was a development of bungalows and bedsits, which the company said was 40 years old, dated, and included a number of bedsits which are difficult to let and can often be empty for long periods of time.

Catherine Cole, then assistant director of housing and communities at Fortis, said at the time: “Our residents are at the heart of everything we do, so we wanted to let people living in the Chevenham Close scheme know what’s happening as soon as possible.

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“We arranged to talk to all residents on a one to one basis, followed by a drop-in information session and they will have our full support throughout this process which includes financial compensation and help to relocate to suitable accommodation.

“Our plan is to modernise what is available here which will benefit the wider community and provide more affordable new homes.”

Fortis Living also said at the time that there were a significant number of empty properties at the scheme, The residents of Chevenham were told about the plans at individual meetings organised by Fortis Living and the general response was positive.