Residents, planners and council officials gathered at the launch of a new affordable rural housing development in West Oxfordshire.

The special event saw West Oxfordshire MP Robert Courts officially open the ten-home scheme in Bury Close, Kingham which will only be available to local residents who are otherwise priced out of the area – a place where many have grown up.

Cllr Colin Dingwall, Cabinet Member for Housing at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “This is an excellent example of how it is possible to provide affordable housing for local people. It has only been achieved through great teamwork involving planners, builders, the housing association and, most importantly, the local community. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

Sovereign Housing Association arranged for the homes to be built on land previously owned by West Oxfordshire District Council. Formerly a domestic garden area, the land was transferred to Sovereign as part of a land assembly deal last summer and subject to section 106 agreement. Development was completed in October with residents moving in soon after.

The properties, which will all be let at an affordable rent, comprise two one bedroom apartments, four two bed houses and four three bed houses.

Stuart Roberts, Head of Development at Sovereign, said: “There is a real need for this kind of housing to help families stay connected to their local area. This development is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by working collaboratively.”

The section 106 agreement attached to the planning permission means the new homes are only available to residents with a local connection to Kingham. They must already work or live in Kingham, or have family members living there to be eligible.

Peter Burrows, Director at E G Carter & Co Ltd said: ““This scheme is an excellent example of where collaboration and teamwork have enabled everyone to produce a truly excellent affordable housing project which embodies modern technology whilst embracing the local character and tradition.”

The official opening took place on Friday 24 November.