Housing association Aster Group has agreed a contract to build 90 affordable homes in Poundbury, an urban extension of Dorchester in Dorset. 

The development was secured through a section 106 agreement and will consist of 36 one- and two-bed flats for affordable rent, alongside five two-bed flats and 49 two- and three-bed houses for shared ownership.

The first of five shared ownership properties were completed in May and all 90 affordable homes are due to be built by June 2024.

CG Fry & Son Ltd have been contracted by Aster to build the homes.

The new units will add to Aster’s existing stock in Poundbury of 17 properties, five of which are general needs and 12 are shared ownership.  

The project forms part of Aster’s £2bn investment plan which forecasts a build programme of over 10,700 homes during the next seven years. The housing association delivered more than 1,100 homes in 2018/19 through this plan.

Amanda Williams, group development director at Aster, said: “Dorchester has seen some of the sharpest house price rises in the region in recent years* and Section 106 schemes like this one in Poundbury are essential to ensuring an adequate proportion of homes remain affordable for people living locally.   

“It’s vital that we deliver the right mix of housing options and are not solely focused on volume. This project will provide much-needed affordable rent homes and the shared ownership units will offer residents who are currently priced out of the market an opportunity to step onto the housing ladder.”

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, cabinet member for housing at Dorset Council, said: “The Poundbury development has helped deliver much-needed housing and community benefits for the Dorchester area.

“Affordable homes of the type and variety being provided by Aster Group in this new scheme are very welcome and I look forward to seeing the properties completed.

“Dorset Council is keen to work with the developers through the planning process and is encouraging the construction of 20,000 homes by 2033 in its Opening Doors programme.”

Poundbury is an urban extension to Dorchester, founded in 1993. It is built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall and was designed to create a ‘walkable community’ by having commercial buildings, residential areas, shops and leisure facilities mixed together.  It is currently home to 3,000 people and 180 businesses.