Residents enjoy brand new affordable homes at Manor Links

The first of 24 new affordable homes at the Manor Links development in Bishop’s Stortford, a partnership between Stonebond, Sage Homes and East Herts Council, have been handed over to local people.

Sage Homes, which is England’s largest provider of newly built affordable housing, will deliver 10 affordable one-bedroom flats, two wheelchair-accessible two-bedroom bungalows, five two-bedroom houses and seven three-bedroom houses in Manor Links, which is a development of 61 homes in total built by Stonebond, including the 24 affordable homes.

Fourteen of those properties are available at affordable rent for those on East Herts Council’s housing needs register; the other 10 are available for purchase on a part-buy part-rent basis for people who cannot otherwise afford a home on the open market.

Becky Lowton and her son Mason, who moved in on 12 November, were among the first local residents to collect the keys to their new affordable rent, two-bedroom bungalow with disabled access.

After breaking her back and damaging her spine from a fall in 2018, Miss Lowton had spent several years sleeping downstairs on a sofa bed at her previous home while she and East Herts Council tried to find her an affordable, wheelchair-accessible house in her home town of Bishop’s Stortford.

The 39-year-old former pre-school manager said: “It’s just perfect for us and I feel overwhelmed by how lovely it is. I’m very houseproud and it will be very well looked after.

“Having one-floor living and an accessible wet room will just make the biggest difference – including to my mental health – and this is going to give me greater independence.”

Councillor Peter Boylan, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods at East Herts Council, said: “I very much enjoyed meeting with Becky and Mason today and hearing first-hand the difference their new homes have made to their lives. It is vital that we deliver a range of affordable housing, which is why it is great to see a mix of homes for rent and low-cost home ownership, family-sized properties, and accessible bungalows for older people or those with disabilities. It is also why our recently launched Housing Strategy makes a firm commitment to increasing the supply of all types of affordable housing across the district.”

Created in 2017, to date, Sage Homes has delivered more than 9,800 affordable rent and shared ownership homes.

Lucian Smithers, Chief Customer Officer at Sage Homes, said: “It is great to see that our close working relationship with Stonebond and East Herts Council is delivering the new affordable homes that local people need. I’m really pleased that this new home works so well for Becky and Mason and I hope they feel very happy there.”

The wider development of a further 37 homes delivered by housebuilder, Stonebond, also provides over £1m in Section 106 contributions towards local education provision, healthcare improvements, community and sports facilities and sustainable transport upgrades, including key cycle routes.

Robert Wilkinson, Managing Director of Stonebond Chelmsford, said: "As a partnerships developer, nothing makes us happier than seeing residents move into quality, new affordable homes.  We’ve delivered a high-quality, mixed-tenure development, and by working with Sage local people will have a real chance to get onto the housing ladder.”

Further information about the Manor Links development is available at:

  • Pictured above (left to right): Lucian Smithers – Chief Customer Officer, Sage Homes; Councillor Peter Boylan – Executive Member for Neighourhoods, East Herts Council; Manor Links resident Becky Lowton and her son Mason; Jonathan Geall – Head of Housing & Health, East Herts Council; and Robert Wilkinson – Managing Director of Stonebond Chelmsford.