A DEVELOPER has hatched a plan for much-needed affordable housing in the heart of Constable Country.

Hills Building Group, based in Brook Street, Colchester, wants to build a mixture of private and affordable homes in Manningtree Road, Dedham.

It has held talks with Dedham Parish Council and is due to submit a planning application to Colchester Council next month.

The parish council drew up a plan three years ago, which recognised the need for more affordable housing in the posh village, where the average three-bedroom home costs £400,000.

Sheila Beeton, chairman, said: “We are generally supportive of a development, which will incorporate affordable housing, subject to proper consultation when we receive the detailed proposals.”

The cheapest property on the market in Dedham is around £230,000 for a two-bed terrace home.

Georgina Simpson, assistant branch manager at Abbotts estate agents on Dedham High Street, said most of the enquiries it receives are for properties worth more than £400,000.

She said: “If something affordable came up, I think it would drawmore people into the village.

“You are also going to bring young families into the village, as there is such a fantastic school.”

There is already affordable housing in Manningtree Road and Long Road West. Hills Building Group will hold an exhibition of its plans at the Duchy Barn, in High Street, Dedham, on Tuesday, September 9, at 3pm and 7pm.

Representatives from the developer and Colne Housing, which would manage the affordable housing, will be on hand to answer questions.