A recent study, conducted by Rightmove, analysed the average asking price of almost two million properties outside of London between September 2010 and September 2020.  It concluded that house prices in Stone had increased by 81%, making the current average asking price £322,911.  This places the parish firmly in the top 10 property hotspots.

There are a number of reasons for this, including Stone’s proximity to London, close access to local amenities, as well as Dartford town centre and Bluewater being situated right on the doorstep!  With good quality green, open spaces, popular community facilities such as Stone Pavilion and a new community centre now under construction at Cotton Lane, the parish provides well for all generations. With plans for further local improvements such as the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan, the area will continue to prove popular with potential home-buyers.

However, the findings of the study support the evidence developed through the Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan that young people and those on lower incomes have effectively been priced out of the parish. In response to this, policies contained in the Plan aim to support ‘whole-lifetime parish residency’ through a wide range of housing provision within any new development, to make it possible for existing residents to live at a price they can afford.

Planning applications which increase the local supply of affordable homes, later-life homes, and accessible homes will be supported, as well as a requirement for affordable homes to be offered as a priority to residents of Stone Parish.  It is hoped this will improve the situation and provide opportunities for all residents who wish to continue to live in the parish, even if their housing needs change.

The Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan is awaiting formal examination ahead of a potential referendum in 2021.  The full Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan document can be viewed at: www.stoneneighbourhoodplan.uk