CONSTRUCTION of a housing estate has been begun after almost four "tough" years.

Pennyfarthing Homes, a housebuilder based in the New Forest, was granted reserved matters planning permission for its Oakwood Grove development, off Ringwood Road, in Alderholt.

The development will deliver 45 homes, comprising a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, two- and three-bedroom bungalows and seven one and two 'First Home' bedroom flats.

Pennyfarthing could not find an affordable housing provider willing to take these flats on.

Planning documents show seven providers were approached and they all declined, either because the development is too small or due to the location.

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Planning manager Robert Lofthouse, at Pennyfarthing Homes, previously told Dorset Council: "We are therefore left in a situation where the delivery of these seven affordable homes remains (currently) financially viable from our perspective but not deliverable as there is no party willing and/or able to take the long-term responsibility and to manage and maintain these as affordable homes for local need."

Dorset Council agreed for Pennyfarthing to offer 'First Homes' instead, which are discounted by at least 30 per cent of the market rate and meet the criteria for providing affordable housing.

Salisbury Journal: Housing site plan for Oakwood Grove.Housing site plan for Oakwood Grove. (Image: Pennyfarthing Homes)

Oakwood Grove will feature air source heat pumps, electric vehicle charging points and solar panels on a select number of homes as well as public open spaces.

The houses will have access to gardens, parking, a playground and a Suitable Alternative Greenspace (SANG) which will be created for residents and the wider village of Alderholt to enjoy. 

Safe walking and cycling paths to the village centre will also be built into the development.

Sheetal Smith, sales and marketing director at Pennyfarthing Homes, said:  "This development represents not just a collection of homes, but a vision to create a welcoming environment catering to a wide spectrum of residents.

"From first-time buyers seeking their initial step on the property ladder to growing families and downsizers, Oakwood Grove will offer a place for everyone to call home."

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Ben Arnold, land and planning director for Pennyfarthing Homes, said: “It’s very pleasing, after almost four tough years fraught with issues of phosphate neutrality and heathland mitigation, which we overcame, to receive our reserved matters approval on this development.

"The SANG is the first of its kind in Alderholt and the phosphate mitigation scheme one of the first in the country. Both schemes have spare capacity to sell credits to other developments in the catchments.”

Construction has now commenced with the first completions ready from late Summer 2024.