NOT even the torrential rain could dampen the spirits of the first residents moving into their brand new homes in Brackensfield in Alcombe.

Lynne Smith, Magna's office manager said: “I handed over the keys to all the new residents and everyone is really thrilled with their new homes.

“We'll be letting the other homes over the coming months and hope that everyone will be moved in by July.”

The homes are heavily insulated to make them energy efficient; they incorporate features such as sheds and are designed to enable home working.

Christine Boland, tenant services manager said: “Our purpose is to help people meet their housing needs and aspirations and that is exactly what we have done here.

“There is still a shortage of affordable homes locally, so it's great that we are able to help a few more people find a home.”

The scheme cost over £3.8m which was funded by a grant from the Homes and Communities Agency and borrowing by Magna.

The £723,000 balance is being made up from the sale of 10 existing properties, which were empty and required significant maintenance or had been historically hard to let.

When complete, the site will be made up of seven bungalows and 26 two, three and four-bedroom houses.