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Government’s Affordable Housing Policy provides 33 New Homes in Peel 29 July 2008

Last Monday tenants were formally welcomed to their new homes at Bluebell Close, Ballawattleworth by Juan Watterson MHK. He asked Mrs Jackie Shimmin to cut the ribbon across the front door to a bungalow as she is the first Peel Commissioners’ tenant to occupy the new homes. A commemoration plaque was then unveiled to mark the partnership work that has been undertaken in order for Bluebell Close to be developed.

Juan Watterson said in his speech that this superb development was attributable to the Department’s Planning Policy that now includes a requirement for a percentage of new affordable homes to be built on the majority of new developments. The Ballawattleworth planning application was processed during the interim stages of the new Planning Policy but nevertheless management at Heritage Homes Ltd were very enthusiastic about playing their part in providing affordable homes, for people in Peel. After consultation with the Department’s Estates and Housing Directorate, it was agreed that they would design and build a development of 17 bungalows and 16 apartments for older people and the Department would fund the project.

The new homes are not sheltered but have been designed in a way that encourages existing, older tenants, occupying larger family houses, to down size and free up homes for families on the waiting list. Peel Commissioners will be managing Bluebell Close and they are currently in the process of completing the allocation of all the properties.

Mrs. Shimmin said she was delighted to be able to move into her new home and live in such a lovely location with many people she already knows. She is moving from her house on the adjacent estate with some of her neighbours and other friends from Peel such as those made at the Bowling Club.

Mr. Watterson gave his appreciation to Heritage Homes Director, Ciaran Downey and his team in the design office and on site, for producing high quality new homes in an extremely attractive layout. Whilst this older person’s development is part of a much larger estate, it has been designed to feel exclusive and with its own character.

The DLGE is hoping that the Affordable Housing Planning Policy will result in a steady flow of new affordable homes for first time buyers as well as public sector tenants. In the latter case the general policy is to build homes for existing older tenants on new estates such as Bluebell Close and in new and refurbished sheltered schemes, which in turn will release existing housing more suitable for families.

Mr. Watterson closed the ceremony by wishing the new tenants many years of happiness in Bluebell Close and wished Peel Commissioners much success in managing their new housing estate.

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