Building of new affordable homes near Swanage has started

Construction is underway on a controversial housing development that will provide 28 new affordable homes in Langton Matravers, near Swanage.

The plans for the housing development called Spyway Orchard at the end of Durnford Drove, were approved in June 2020 despite a large number of objections from local residents and the parish council.


Concerns mainly centred on increased traffic down a narrow road, flooding risk of the site and whether there were too many buildings for the size of the plot. Revised plans were submitted to address some of these issues.

The development is close to the National Trust Spyway car park that leads down to the coast and Dancing Ledge.

Spyway Orchard building work starts

Built by housing association Aster Group

Spyway Orchard is being built by housing association Aster Group along with developer Drew Smith Ltd. It will provide two, three and four-bedroom houses, as well as one-bedroom flats.

Eight of the homes will be available to purchase through the shared ownership scheme, with the remaining homes available for social rent.

The majority of the homes on the scheme will only be available for local residents or those with a strong connection to the area.

To be eligible for these homes, a person must be registered on the Dorset Council’s housing register, have a parish connection and be in housing need. If there are not enough people in the village who qualify, then those from surrounding areas will be considered.

Site plan showing the layout of the housing development
Aster Group

A way onto the housing ladder

Shared ownership is a way onto the housing ladder, where buyers purchase a share of a property and pay rent on the remaining share. This reduces the size of the initial deposit required and if they want to, buyers can buy more shares in their property (called staircasing), eventually leading to outright home ownership.

Aster says that the properties have been designed to reflect the local Purbeck character, using locally sourced stone in keeping with the rural nature of the village.

It also says the site will have an Ecological Enhancement Area with features including bat boxes, bird boxes, the installation of bee bricks and a ‘hedgehog highway’ providing gaps in the fencing between gardens to allow hedgehogs to move freely.

Spyway Orchard building work starts

“We are very pleased to see Aster building new affordable homes”

Mary Sparks, Clerk to Langton Matravers Parish Council, said:

“Though the council has in the past had reservations about development at Spyway Orchard, we are very pleased to see Aster building new affordable homes which will contribute in so many ways to the well-being and sustainability of the village community.”

“Working closely with the parish council”

Amanda Williams, group development director at Aster, added:

“We’re pleased to work in partnership with Drew Smith Ltd to bring more affordable homes to Langton Matravers, enabling local residents the opportunity to live near the people and places they love.

“The local community has been at the heart of every decision we’ve made from architectural designs, which reflect the famous Purbeck character, to working closely with the parish council to ensure the construction of the homes will be sympathetic to day-to-day life in the village.”

The homes should be ready for the first residents to move into in winter 2021, with all homes completed and available by late spring 2022.

Spyway car park
Path down to Dancing Ledge

The development is close to the National Trust’s Spyway car park that leads down to Dancing Ledge.

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