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New residents of the development join Clare Town Councillors and Hastoe team to celebrate the opening
Clare's first affordable housing development opens
In 2008 Clare Town Council, then Clare Parish Council, sponsored a community group to lead the work to understand the needs and desires of our community. These surveys, with a response rate of over 80%, led to what was to become the Clare Community Plan.

The Community Plan sets out what Clare s residents want to improve about our town and environment, forming a guide for the future development of Clare.

One of the aspects covered by the plan was housing.

One of the early results from the community-wide questionnaire was that 90% of our parishioners have no intention of ever leaving Clare! Our younger residents, however, wanted to be able to continue to live in Clare but were not convinced that they would be able to afford to.

This led us to engage with Suffolk Acre to undertake an assessment of housing needs in Clare in order to establish the need for affordable housing.

With a very good return rate of 44% their survey established the need for affordable homes with priority to be given to Clare residents.

Clare Town Council undertook a 'beauty parade' of potential contractors including the Hastoe Housing Association. Having interviewed them all the Town Council decided that the contract should be awarded to Hastoe.

The Celebratory Opening of the development of 11 new affordable homes (comprising 2 x 1 bed flats, 2 x 2 bed flats, 2 x 2 bed bungalows and 3 x 3 bed houses plus 2 x 2 bed houses built for shared ownership) took place on 21st September 2015.

Clare Town Council proposed the name of the development as Aragon Court based on historical information about Clare: Clare Common was originally leased to Clare by Catherine of Aragon (the first of Henry Viii's six wives) to be used a a Common Pasture for poor people.

In his speech at the opening ceremony of the new housing development Clare Town Council Chair, Paul Bishop, said that he hoped the new residents of the properties enjoy their new homes and are proud to be the residents of the first affordable housing complex sponsored by Clare Town Council.

Working with Hastoe has been an excellent experience and their team has managed the build, the communications with the local community and the occupation process in a most professional manner. Clare Town Council are delighted to have them as our partners.

Cllr. Bishop added a vote of thanks to all Town Councillors who have been involved in bringing this project to fruition; in particular Keith Haisman who was involved in the project from the beginning and drove it through to completion.

Story By: Town Clerk

Date : 28-09-2015