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Rural Housing Week 2022: Old factory site transformed into thriving community

A Shropshire couple say a move to a rural community has transformed their lives.

Leslie & Maureen Lancaster, both 71, have recently moved in to a new bungalow on Sugar Beet Avenue in Allscott.

The bungalows, available for affordable rent via the Wrekin Housing Group, are part of the wider Allscott Meads development on the site of the village’s old sugar beet factory. It has transformed the area into a thriving community space.

Leslie and Maureen have shared their story as part of Rural Housing Week. The theme this year is ‘Levelling Up Rural Communities’ - looking at how the housing sector meet the challenges of poor infrastructure, poverty and adequate housing that can impact on rural areas.

Disused since its closure in 2007, developers SJ Roberts Homes have given the site a new purpose. As well as providing a mix of homes, the site will also feature a new primary school and retail and business units.

Residents have the perfect balance between modern living and nature. Sugar Beet Avenue is also served well by local facilities, including pubs and local sports clubs, while Shrewsbury and Telford are both just a 15-minute drive away.

That’s why it proved to be such an attractive proposition for Leslie & Maureen.

“It’s absolutely beautiful here”, said Leslie.

“We moved here mainly because of health reasons. We were in a three-bedroom house, we enjoyed living there but the stairs were proving increasingly difficult for us. When this bungalow became available we couldn’t have thought of anywhere better to call home.

“We love it, we always wanted to move out to the countyside. It’s very peaceful here, but it’s not secluded. We get the best of both worlds, we’re in a lovely rural community that’s just a short drive from either Shrewsbury or Telford.

Maureen added: “We wake up every morning thinking how lucky we are, it’s like being on holiday! The neighbours are lovely and we’re very grateful to the Wrekin Housing Group for helping us secure our dream home.”

5th July 2022