Long Compton shows way to let people stay local

The Heeks with Derrick Dyas, chairman of Warwickshire Rural Housing Association, and representatives from Long Compton Parish Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Orbit and Warks Rural Community Council
The Heeks with Derrick Dyas, chairman of Warwickshire Rural Housing Association, and representatives from Long Compton Parish Council, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Orbit and Warks Rural Community Council

Local homes for local people is a battle cry in many villages but in Long Compton a scheme aiming to do that is already making a difference.

Dorothy and Robert Heeks have lived all their married life in the village but were struggling with their four-bed home.

But a new development by Warwickshire Rural Housing Association (WRHA) handed them a lifeline.

The couple, married for 54 years, helped WRHA celebrate Rural Housing Week, which saw the completion of new development Weston Court, where they have bought a two-bed bungalow.

Dorothy, 76, said: “I have lived in Long Compton all my life and my husband has lived here since we got married. I couldn’t imagine leaving the village after all this time.

“We were living in a four bedroom house which had become way too big for us. My husband is 83 now and has had hip replacements so we really wanted somewhere without stairs. Although we’d tried to get a bungalow in the past, we hadn’t had much luck.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with our new home. It’s perfect for us.”

The parish council helped shape the development and gave it its support.

It includes five homes for rent and four for sale with the properties built for people with connections to Long Compton or the adjoining parishes, through family or work.

Rural Housing Week,ran from July 2 to 6, highlighting issues in rural areas and how housing associations help.

The focus this year was on how affordable housing helps rural communities survive and asks people to show their support for local developments.