Princess Anne at the Grand Opening of Ellis Bank Lane, Minsterworth

Arrival at Ellis Bank Lane

On Tuesday, 9 April, HRH The Princess Royal visited Minsterworth for the formal Grand Opening of Ellis Bank Lane, where she was met by Roger Blowey (Chair of Minsterworth Parish Council), representatives of Rooftop Housing, and residents of the new development.  This development of affordable homes has been a long-term and much needed project, instigated and fully supported by Minsterworth Parish Council every step of the way.

In 2011 Minsterworth Parish Council, under the chairmanship of Richard Few, was concerned that local people were increasingly being priced out of the village due to the predominance of larger properties and increasing house prices.  It was realised that services were at risk due to proximity to Gloucester and a lack of local support for village facilities - indeed, in the last 4 or 5 years the village has lost its primary school, shop, post office, and pub, and use of the village hall was also in decline.

Parish Council Chair Roger Blowey discussing the development with Princess Anne

The Parish Council started working with Tewkesbury Borough Council and GRCC to identify the level of housing need in the parish through a housing needs survey conducted by GRCC.  A need for affordable housing for families was identified, along with smaller, more manageable properties so that older residents could downsize.  Martin Hutchings, GRCC's Rural Housing Enabler, worked with the Parish Council to identify suitable sites for a development of affordable homes.

Meeting one of the families in their newly built home

A site adjacent to the village hall was made available by a local family.  Rooftop Housing agreed to take on the development of the site and a planning application was submitted in March 2015, with approval in September 2017.  Developers Knarsboro Homes started on site immediately, and in September 2018 Rooftop Housing were able to hand over the keys to 14 households.  All Minsterworth residents who applied for homes to rent and purchase in the development were successful.

GRCC's Rural Housing Enabler Martin Hutchings discussing affordable housing with Princess Anne

To find out more about affordable rural housing and how GRCC can support your parish in meeting the housing needs of your community, come along to our Affordable Housing event in July or visit the affordable housing section of the website.

Photos courtesy of Rooftop Housing