Devizes MP Claire Perry has praised a new affordable housing development as “vital” to the town after a visit to the site.

The MP was hosted at the new site in Hambleton Avenue by developer Aster Group and housebuilder Galliford Try Partnerships. She praised the provision of affordable homes offered at the development and said it was crucial in helping to alleviate the shortage of housing in her constituency and across the region.

The development will provide 38 one-, two-, and three-bedroom flats and houses, with 31 allocated for shared ownership and seven for affordable rent. The site is built on brownfield land, originally part of Le Marchant Barracks.

Claire Perry, who is also a minister in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said: “Devizes is a thriving town but the lack of affordable housing is impeding many people’s ability to stay here. Boosting this, particularly through options like shared ownership, is vital to encourage more people to put down roots and stay in their community.

“Aster Group is one of Devizes’ largest employers and investors and it’s reassuring to see its commitment to improving the supply of high-quality, affordable homes locally, as well as across the South West, to help bring more housing choice to our town.”

Aster Group received planning approval for the development from Wiltshire Council in February last year, with construction beginning on site in September 2017. The scheme is expected to complete by the end of 2018.

The site expands the group’s portfolio of land-led schemes and forms part of its commitment to invest £2bn over the next seven years to increase the supply of affordable housing, under a range of tenures, across the region.

Jane Gallifent, development and sales director at Aster Group, said: “The affordable housing crisis isn’t limited to large urbanised areas – it affects the entire country. Far too often we see the South West overlooked and, despite Devizes being a popular area for buyers, it’s a town in short supply of high-quality houses that people can afford.

“Hambleton Avenue is fully affordable and through shared ownership offers buyers a step on the property ladder they may otherwise be unable to afford. This visit from Claire Perry underlines what we have always believed – increasing choice is just as important as quantity to help solve the housing crisis.”