A NEW affordable housing development near Winchester was officially opened last week (February 28).

Barron Close, in Micheldever, includes 15 new properties which sit behind the village’s existing affordable housing site of Dever Close.

Winchester Housing Trust, Winchester City Council and Micheldever Parish Council have worked in partnership to see the project develop, with the aim of providing affordable options for people with local connections.

Winchester City Council will acquire five units to rent as part of their New Homes Delivery Programme and seven houses and one flat have already been sold to local people on a shared ownership basis.

Two of those people, soon to be married police officer Matthew Chapman, 31, and operating theatre assistant Michelle Meisner, 27, said the development has offered them a life line.

Mr Chapman said: “We have not been able to afford to buy a place until now, and this is the only way we would have been able to get on the property ladder. My family have lived here for about 12 years, and my grandmother lives in Weston Colley.

“It’s a really nice development and it’s so big as well. A lot of the time you see loads of houses crammed together, but this isn’t like that and there is so much space.”

William Helen, Chairman of Micheldever Parish Council, said the parish welcome the project.

He said: “We have supported it from the outset to fulfil the housing need in the community. We have done regular surveys, and this is what the community wanted, and we are happy to be able to give them what they wanted.”

Steve Brine MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford agreed that the development was a brilliant example of how to serve the housing needs, but not put too much pressure on services.

He said: “It is sites like this that give developments a good name. There is real soul about it, the developers have really connected to the people who will be moving in, and it remains in proportion with the rest of the village.”

The street has been named after the late Brian Barron, who was responsible for the running of Winchester Housing Trust for 20 years and worked closely with the Micheldever community.