SOVEREIGN Housing Association is working with the housebuilder Redrow to build 51 new affordable homes on the outskirts of Shaftesbury.

The new development, called Blackmore Down, will see a total of 143 homes on the site at Littledown. The 51 affordable homes will be provided through Sovereign – 26 of them allocated for affordable rent and 25 through shared ownership.

With more than 1,000 people interested in affordable homes in the North Dorset area and almost 100 people seeking affordable homes in Shaftesbury alone, the housing is in high demand locally, the developers say.

James Gibson, development director at Sovereign, said: “We’ve been working hard during lockdown to make sure that we’re ready when things open back up again. Negotiating this development under lockdown conditions has presented new and very particular challenges, but we’re pleased to be able to build these quality new homes where they’re needed most.

“Sovereign’s strength has made us able to work through this very trying time and still build the right homes in the right places and we are actively seeking more opportunities with our confidence in the market undiminished,” he added.

Blackmore Down is the first development that Sovereign has negotiated under lockdown conditions The first residents look set to move into the Blackmore Down development in winter 2020, with shared ownership properties available through Sovereign Living.