SHROPSHIRE Rural Housing Association is celebrating the completion of four new homes at Lydham, near Bishops Castle.

The four new homes, each with two bedrooms and semi-detached, have been built on the site of a former block of lock-up garages adjacent to Coronation Cottages.

Built for Shropshire Rural by J Harper & Sons (Leominster) Ltd, the houses are highly insulated and fitted with environmentally friendly air source heat pumps which combine to provide low running costs and affordable warmth for residents.

All of the properties are let on affordable rents with priority given to those with local connections – an arrangement that will continue should any of the properties become available for re-let.

Shropshire Rural has worked closely with Connexus (the housing group which includes South Shropshire Housing Association); helping to enable the provision of a new sewage treatment plant which serves not only the new homes at Poolshead Corner but also the existing adjacent homes at Coronation Cottages.

The cost of providing the homes was met by Shropshire Rural Housing Association with support from the government’s Homes & Communities Agency, which provided grant aid amounting to £76,800 (£19,200 per property).

In addition to heating the homes with renewable energy and providing, together with South Shropshire Housing Association, an environmentally friendly sewage treatment plant, Shropshire Rural protected and improved the mature hedge on the site boundary and installed state-of-the-art bird boxes as part of a commitment to minimising environmental impact and protecting and promoting wildlife habitat. There is a shortage of affordable homes.