Steve Brine joined the Mayor and Mayoress, councillors and members of Winchester Housing Trust (WHT) at the official opening of a fantastic small development in Micheldever on Friday 28th February.
The Micheldever MP was delighted to open Barron Close, situated at the end of Dever Close, which will welcome new residents to 15 new houses, including council-owned homes and a shared-ownership scheme.
Leanne Smith, from WHT, said: "This shared-ownership scheme offers a generation of young people a life changing opportunity to step onto the property ladder. Without this type of scheme many people would be unable to buy in this beautiful rural area."
One example of a new resident is police officer Matthew Chapman. His fiancé works within the NHS and his family live in East Stratton. Matthew said: "We are delighted to be part of the development and feel that this has allowed us to get our feet on the property ladder and keep us close to family in the parish of Micheldever. We are looking forward to getting married in the church this year and to bring our future family up in the village".
David Laishley also has a long standing connection with Micheldever and he is delighted to be moving to his own home in the village of his choice. Without this scheme the cost of housing would force him to live outside of the Parish. David's Great Grandmother lived in Micheldever for 93 years of her life.
David said: "I am delighted that I have had the opportunity to move back into a village in which I grew up and for nothing other than financial issues was forced to move away. There has been a lot of positive and negative comments throughout this whole development, and various feelings, where some local residents supported it and others didn't.
"I personally would not have had the opportunity without the involvement of Winchester Housing Trust. The first development of Dever Close offered many of my friends, a chance to live in a lovely community to either grow up themselves or bring their children up in. Due to the area it restricted the number of properties ever to become available, for people like myself on the waiting list and in likelihood would have continued to be a dream if it wasn't for the recent Baron development.
"I personally would like to thank Leanne and her team for all the help, support and efforts in getting me this home. I just can't wait to get the keys."
After saying a few words of thanks, and cutting the ribbon, Steve said: "I wish we could cut and paste the Winchester Housing Trust for the rest of England, as the local and shared-ownership model is exactly what we want.
"I've met so many people today who are going to benefit from this scheme, and it was lovely to have Brian Barron's widow, Jenny, here today to see the culmination of so much hard work and talented design. I also want to pay particular tribute to Leanne Smith. Without her hard work this would all have been nothing more than a pipe dream.
"The New Homes programme is so exciting, but it doesn't happen by accident. This was a very positive decision by Winchester City Council, as I said in the House of Commons last month. Development often has a bad name, but if there were more like this on a manageable scale it certainly would not."