THE launch of a new rural affordable housing development was marked by Witney MP Robert Courts as he joined with residents and dignitaries.

The 10-home scheme in Bury Close, Kingham, has been built on land formerly owned by West Oxfordshire District Council.

Previously a domestic garden area, the land was transferred to Sovereign Housing Association in December 2016.

Development was completed last month, with new residents moving in shortly afterwards before marking the official opening last week.

Mr Courts said: “This fantastic scheme brings much-needed housing to local people.

"Everyone involved should be proud of what they have achieved here.”

Colin Dingwall, cabinet member for housing at West Oxfordshire District Council, added: “This is an excellent example of how it is possible to provide affordable housing for local people.

"It has only been achieved through great teamwork across a range of partners and, most importantly, involving the local community.”

The properties, all of which will be let at a rent considered 'affordable', are made up of two one-bedroom apartments, four two-bed houses and four three-bed houses.

Among the first residents to move in soon after construction was finished were Dragos and Doris Goga along with their children Darius, seven, Albert, four, Lina, two.

Mrs Goga, who has worked as a carer in Kingham for seven years, said of their new home: "I love the house and the area.

"We used to live in Chipping Norton but there is far more room for the children to go out and play here.

“We are really impressed with the quality of the work and by the professionalism of everyone involved.”

Heather Bowman, chief operating officer at Sovereign, said that the housing development would allow families living close to the area to stay 'connected' to their communities.

She said: “There is a real need for this kind of affordable housing to help families stay connected to their local area.

"Only by working closely together with those living and working in our communities can we really make a difference and Bury Close is a fantastic example of what can be achieved to help our rural communities thrive.”

The official opening ceremony took place on Friday November 24.