A £4.2 million new affordable housing development by Waterloo Housing Group, in partnership with Derbyshire Dales District Council, has been officially opened and named to mark the First World War Centenary.
Poppy Fields Close, off Bakewell Road in Darley Dale, was opened by the Lord-Lieutenant for Derbyshire, Mr William Tucker, who unveiled a commemorative plaque at the site of 34 new homes.
The plaque features a verse from the popular wartime poem 'In Flanders Fields' by John McCrae. It is displayed on an old granite gate post which has been incorporated into the landscaping of the new development, built on the site of a former garden centre.
Residents and representatives from the partner organisations involved joined the opening celebrations and enjoyed a lunch of hot jacket potatoes and cakes.
The new energy-efficient properties include 24 rented homes, which have been let to local people through the District Council's Home-Options lettings scheme and feature a mix of two and three bedroom houses, one and two bed flats and two wheelchair-accessible bungalows.
They also comprise 10 two and three bedroom houses to part-buy and part-rent through shared ownership.
The much-needed new housing was built for Waterloo by contractor Westleigh Developments and attracted investment support of £1.2 million from the government's Homes and Communities Agency.
The Lord-Lieutenant, Mr William Tucker, said:
"It was a great privilege to open Poppy Fields and I wish the present and future residents every good wish. The name will act as a long-lasting reminder of the year in which it was opened."
Cllr Lewis Rose OBE, Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, added:
"Providing affordable housing for local people remains the District Council's top priority, which is why in the past year we have poured £616,000 into schemes such as Poppy Fields – and we will continue to fight hard to attract additional funding to make these developments happen."
- Read more about Cllr Rose's warning about new government planning policy impacting on future provision of affordable housing in the Derbyshire Dales.
Resident Deborah Shimwell, a trainee teaching assistant, and her six-year-old son Kristian are delighted with their new house at Poppy Fields Close.
"It means everything to us to be living here in such a beautiful house," she said. "I often drove past them as they were being built but hardly dared imagine we could move here. We're now closer to family and are really happy to have our own garden."
- All the rented homes at Poppy Fields Close are now let but there is still the opportunity to buy a home through shared ownership, with prices from £35,000 for a 25% share plus rent on the remaining share. More details online, or call 0345 450 3995.