Please read attached News Release from Hastoe dated 17th December 2014:
Pandan Close, West Hanningfield received a royal stamp of approval this week when His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales helped residents celebrate the joint venture between Hastoe Housing Association and Essex & Suffolk Water that made their homes possible.
HRH was shown around the development of homes, which incorporate traditional Essex materials, colours and traditional door and window patterns, and were designed to meet high environmental standards, including water efficient features and ground source heat pumps.
Residents gathered to watch and chatted with HRH as he planted a D'Arcy Spice tree – a local variety of apple tree, within the development to mark the occasion. The Prince went on to meet two local residents in their home to hear about their time living in West Hanningfield, and finally to the local Village Hall, where he spent time chatting to children from the local primary school and unveiled a plaque to commemorate his visit.
Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive of Hastoe Housing Association, said:
“We were honoured to have HRH The Prince of Wales join us to celebrate the culmination of Hastoe and Essex & Suffolk Water’s hard work in providing 15 new homes for West Hanningfield.”
Opened in 2012, the development provided 12 new affordable homes for the village and 3 for open market sale, all built on land made available by Essex & Suffolk Water. All the affordable homes are guaranteed for local people now and in the future, and the open market houses which were built on land within the development boundary were also sold to local people.
HRH The Prince of Wales’ involvement came via his Affordable Rural Housing Initiative, part of his Rural Action Programme. The initiative’s aim was to raise awareness of the impacts of the lack of affordable rural housing on the economic and social well-being of rural communities and to engage the private sector more in the delivery of well-designed rural affordable housing. As a result of this, Hastoe Housing Association and Essex & Suffolk Water came together to begin the scheme in West Hanningfield.
Heidi Mottram, CEO of Essex and Suffolk Water, added:
“We take our responsibilities as part of our local communities very seriously. When HRH The Prince of Wales highlighted that the lack of affordable rural housing was such a significant issue, and called the water industry to action, as a major landowner we really wanted to help make a difference. I am delighted to see local people now settled in and enjoying these high quality, affordable and sustainable new homes.”