We have transformed the site of a derelict pub and petrol station into 46 modern homes for affordable rent by people in housing need.
Cottsway is West Oxfordshire’s largest affordable housing provider and we held an official opening yesterday (23 May) to celebrate near-completion of the development, off Upavon Way - named Mason Close after a long-standing West Oxfordshire district councillor.
We have worked in partnership with Feltham Construction to demolish the former Osprey pub and neighbouring Esso petrol station - both disused since the early 2000s - and build 46 properties on the site. These include 11 one-bed flats, 16 two-bed flats, 10 two-bed houses and 9 three-bed houses.
The homes will all be available for affordable rent at 80 per cent market rent value, and some of our new customers have already moved in.
Our Acting Chief Executive Richard Reynolds was joined by Cottsway Board Members and staff to open the event and welcomed attendees, including representatives from West Oxfordshire District Council, Carterton Town Council, Feltham Construction and other companies involved in re-developing the site.
Richard said: “Cottsway provides homes for more than 11,000 customers and we are committed to doing more to help more people in housing need. We’ve worked tirelessly over the past six years to get this development under way with demolition of the former buildings starting in early 2020, just before the UK Covid pandemic began. I would like to thank everyone involved for their support in helping us get this to fruition, including Homes England for a £2.48m grant which has made this scheme viable.
“It is a great example of what we can achieve with commitment and partnership working - taking a former brownfield site which had become derelict and unsightly, and giving it a new lease-of-life by providing much-needed affordable homes.
“Average house prices in West Oxfordshire are almost 14 times higher than average earnings and private-rented accommodation is also expensive. We are pleased that all 46 of these new Cottsway homes are for affordable rent, supporting individuals and families who cannot afford to buy or rent on the open market - and we are especially pleased that these have all been built during the pandemic, which brought new and ever-evolving challenges.”
Flowers were presented to customer Lesley-Ann Kirby, who has moved into one of the new homes at Mason Close with her two daughters.
She said: “I was surprised by the size of the house and we’re genuinely really happy. We came from a coach house with no garden, so it’s amazing to have a garden. Everyone has been helpful, I think we’re going to enjoy living here.”
Cllr Duncan Enright, Deputy Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, gave a short speech at the event. He said: "As we all know, the cost of homes in our district is a big problem, meaning that for many people they can't afford to move into their own home. Alongside partners such as our friends at Cottsway, we are determined to make homes affordable for everyone, despite the cost of living crisis, but it will take time. These new houses are very welcome, particularly given the site in our friendly and lively town of Carterton. Thanks must go to all of those involved, including my predecessors on the council at West Oxfordshire, one of whom was George Mason.
“It is fitting that Mason Close is named after former West Oxfordshire District councillor George Mason, who lived in Carterton and served with the council and RAF Brize Norton for many years. I hope he would be proud that we continue to work to provide homes for everyone, and that his hometown of Carterton is growing from strength to strength.
“There are over 3,000 people registered with Homeseeker Plus, our system for registering as needing a home, looking for rented housing in West Oxfordshire. Our council is committed to delivering affordable homes for everyone who needs them and we will redouble our efforts to work closely with Cottsway, the district’s largest affordable housing provider, to do this."
Simon Lampard, Construction Director at Feltham Construction, added: “It has been a pleasure to work with Cottsway on this project. It is always satisfying to be involved in transforming a disused, derelict site, and it gives us great pleasure to know that these houses are helping those in housing need.”
For more information about applying for one of our homes see Find a property