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Work starts on 18 new family homes at Great Hockham

Work has started on 18 new family homes in Great Hockham, including eight which will be made available for affordable rent to people with a local connection.

Broadland Housing Association executive development director joined Cllr Philip Cowen of Breckland Council at a ceremony to dig the first sod at the site on Wretham Road in the village, watched by representatives from Great Hockham Parish Council, which has supported the project.

The £4.2 million project, which is due to be completed February 2023 will provide eight new homes for affordable rent and two for shared ownership, as well as eight new open market homes.  The homes for affordable rent will be prioritised for people with a connection to Great Hockham or the adjoining parishes who are in housing need.

“We are delighted to be here in Great Hockham celebrating the start of construction of 18 much-needed new homes,” said Michael Newey, chief executive of Broadland Housing, who was also at the ceremony.

“We are meeting a genuine need for housing in rural village communities, which will enable local people to find homes in those communities and thus stay close to their support networks and make places such as Great Hockham more sustainable.

“This kind  of mixed tenure development, with a blend of affordable homes and open-market homes, is increasingly the way forward, both because it makes such schemes financially viable, but also because it encourages a better integration within the community.”

Cllr Cowen, who is portfolio holder for finance, revenues and benefits as well as being the local ward councillor for Great Hockham, said “Rural communities in Breckland desperately need new housing.

“Our own housing needs survey showed that providing new home, including affordable homes, in Great Hockham will help the village become a community hub for the surrounding villages.  This is an ‘exceptions site’ outside the current village boundaries, and as such the affordable homes will be prioritised for those with a local connection, which is important.

“The way Broadland Housing has brought this project forward has been refreshing.  They brought a real level of expertise in building local communities, they communicated and listened to local people, and they have been great to work with.”

The 18 new homes have been designed by architects Ingleton Wood, and are being constructed by contractor Smiths of Honingham.  Jonathan Smith said “we are delighted to once again be Broadland’s partnership in bringing to life these new homes.”