On July 8th, Housing Association Stafford and Rural Homes celebrated Rural Housing Week with the formal opening of their affordable homes development at Highfield Close, Swynnerton.
The £2.2 million development is on the site of the former Swynnerton Roman Catholic primary school, which closed seven years ago due to dwindling pupil numbers.
Intended for elderly people wishing to downsize and young families, the 19 homes comprising 2-bed bungalows, 2-bed apartments and 3-bed bungalows are available either to rent, to buy through a shared ownership scheme or via outright purchase. On the opening day, all but two had been taken.
Hosting a reception at Swynnerton Village Hall, Chief Executive of SARH Karen Armitage thanked builders Seddon Homes for delivering the scheme on time, on budget and with a minimum of disruption. She also praised Swynnerton Parish Council and Stafford Borough Councils for proactively enabling the site to be redeveloped for housing.
Parish and Borough Councillor Roy James echoed the importance of community consultation in securing the scheme’s local acceptance while Borough Councillor Jeremy Pert praised the design for being in keeping with the local area.
Managing Director of Seddon Homes Jonathan Seddon mentioned the saving of 19 trees and the recreation of the tiled mural of Our Lady of the Assumption on the wall of the former school. Though the original proved too fragile to be moved, he explained, each tile had been minutely photographed and the high-resolution image painstakingly reproduced on ceramic tiles by a specialist company.
The reproduction plaque now hangs in Lord Stafford’s entrance to Swynnerton Catholic Church.
The name ‘Highfield Close’ had been chosen by Swynnerton Parish Council in memory of Doreen Highfield, the late wife of retired Parish and Borough Councillor Stan Highfield, who performed the opening ceremony.
Three days after moving in to Highfield Close, new residents Mr and Mrs James from Weston were delighted with their new bungalow.
“It’s peaceful here with a lovely outlook and we don’t have to cope with stairs any more.”