Joy As People Move In To Chapel Fields
The smiles, the hugs and the sheer joy on the faces of young and old said it all, as years of hard work and difficult negotiations paid off and eight new houses became home to Shotley families.
Life changing moments became reality when the keys to the superbly new builds at Chapel Fields, The Street, were handed over and people were able to move into the one-two-and three bedroom homes, which were over-subscribed.
One of the delighted new residents is Emma Smart who had found herself back living with her mum but was able to bag a one-bed flat.
“I was absolutely chuffed when I found out my application for a flat had been successful and started crying down the phone,” said Emma. “I couldn’t wait to get the keys and really feel I’m making a new start for the new year.
“My family originally comes from just outside London, so we were used to hustle and bustle, but when my mum first came to Shotley around 12 years ago she fell in love with the village and has lived there ever since.
“I moved back in with my mum four months ago and although it’s been lovely, I was ready for my own space. When I found out the properties were going to become available I jumped at the chance of applying. It’s great to be given the chance to live in a little village like Shotley.”
Shotley Parish Council was delighted that the development of eight affordable homes at Chapel Fields had now been completed. Bernard Nichol, parish council chairman, said: “The quality, design and the attention to detail is impressive. The new tenants, with Shotley connections, are clearly delighted about the prospect of moving into their new homes and it is wonderful to see that some of our local housing need has been addressed to such a high standard.
“Getting to this point has been far from a straightforward process and many people and organisations have put in an enormous amount of effort to bring this project to fruition.
“However, special thanks must be given to Richard & Hazel Wrinch, Babergh District Council (Kim Best and Louise Wilby) and Iceni Homes for their key contributions.”
A clause in the legal agreement meant the home had to be offered to Shotley people first, whatever their housing band and Babergh District Council were able to ensure this happened.
“For me the best thing about this affordable homes development is that it is filled with Shotley people,” said District Councillor Derek Davis.
Although everyone had to bid via the Gateway Home Choice system, priority was given to those with strong Shotley connections. The housing team at Babergh co-ordinated with Suffolk Housing Association to help move families in.
“Sadly, due to the housing needs being so strong on the peninsula, some missed out, so it is down to us to ensure we provide more affordable homes, not just in Shotley but on the peninsula as a whole, along with other rural areas in Babergh, Suffolk and indeed, the country.
“The Chapel Fields, and more affordable home projects come about due to the hard work of so many people and are funded by money given as part of agreements to build homes elsewhere, including the Shotley marina and Ganges developments.”
The homes were built by Marfleet Construction Ltd. The scheme cost £1.1m, which included a £160,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency.