Invitation from DACLT

We invite you to a presentation of our final plans for affordable rented flats to be built on the old tennis courts, corner of West Walks and Bowling Alley Walk.

Join us on Wednesday 12th June 3pm -7pm at the Town Hall, Corn Exchange, Dorchester.

Why does Dorchester need affordable housing?

Dorchester is a fantastic place to live but it is becoming more difficulty for young people to afford to buy their own home.

Why is this and what can we do about it?

THE HOUSE PRICE v. AVERAGE EARNINGS GAP

  • Lowest available open market properties start at £150k, rapidly rising through £180k and beyond
  • Only 1% of properties in Dorchester (c. 100 properties) are shared ownership – everything else is open market or rented
  • Average Public Sector pay is £25k (DCC, WDDC, DCH, Schools), Private Sector probably lower
  • Typical mortgage multipliers + deposit require properties priced @ £90-£120k to be affordable
  • Consequently, under normal circumstances, young First Time Buyers find it very difficult to get onto the housing ladder in Dorchester

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Making It Happen

Since the Special General Meeting lots has been going on and we feel that we are making real progress with the project.

Board Directors Alistair and Barry wanted to give you an update about what has been keeping the Directors busy.

Reed Watts was chosen as the Dorchester Area Community Land Trust’s preferred architects for the Trust’s first project namely the provision of 20 affordable housing units for young Dorchester workers on the site of the tennis courts opposite the Borough Gardens at the bottom of West Walks. Reed Watts invited Directors of the DACLT to spend the day looking at the developments undertaken by the architects.

Matt Reed met us at Waterloo station and it was only a ten minute walk to the recently completed block of 30 “Pocket Living” flats in Sail Street. We were able to inspect one of the flats which, like all the others in the building, only occupies 38 square metres. The flat was more than spacious enough to contain a main living area and kitchen area, a bedroom with a double bed, a wet room with shower, toilet and hand basin, a built-in storage cupboard with connections for a washing machine and a small hallway. For more details of our visit please read Andy’s recent blog!

 

The “Pocket Living” model is a fine example of thoughtful design which could easily be incorporated into the Trust’s first project.

Thoughts on Construction

We then went on to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre where Reed Watts designed a new Rehearsal Studio and other facilities on a very challenging site. Construction is well under way and we were impressed to see how modern technology had allowed building of the base footprint to come within three feet of a mature tree without damage to either the tree or its root system. Trees are a very important feature of the tennis court site – they are also very important in Royal Parks !

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