A £1.6 million affordable housing scheme which has provided homes for people with a connection to a small Richmondshire village has been officially opened.
Richmond (Yorks) MP Rishi Sunak was among the guests at the opening of Broadacres’ 11-home scheme in Gilling West.
They visited the two-bedroom home of Irene Nichol, who was one of the first residents to move in.
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The development, at Oswin Grove, consists of five three-bedroom homes and six two-bedroom homes. It was built on the site of a former sheltered housing scheme in the centre of the village.
All 11 homes have been allocated to people with a connection to Gilling West, either because they were already living elsewhere in the village, or work in the surrounding area. This is to ensure village communities remain sustainable for local people.
Speaking at the opening Broadacres’ chairman Colin Wilkie said: “This development would not have been possible without the support of Richmondshire District Council who gifted us the land, Homes England who provided some of the funding and members of the community who, during the initial consultation process, expressed a desire for more family homes in the village.
“Rural schemes like this are fundamentally important because they help us to meet the demand for high quality housing from local people who, understandably, want to remain in their community.
“They also form part of our long-term vision to become the best rural housing association in the UK.”
Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond(Yorks), said: “This is just the sort of development we need to meet the demand for affordable housing and I’m delighted that this is the second such Broadacres scheme I’ve been asked to open in recent months.
“Finding the appropriate sites in rural areas and developing them is challenging so I congratulate all the parties involved in making this happen.”
Cllr Yvonne Peacock, Leader of Richmondshire District Council, said “I am pleased that this former District Council owned site has been re-used for housing. This has helped retain individuals and families within one of the District’s rural communities. It has been achieved through a strong partnership, which I hope can be repeated in the future on other sites.”
The total cost of the development is £1.64 million, which included a grant of £352,000 from Homes England, the Government body responsible for delivering new homes.
Karen Anderson, Specialist, Homes England said: “We’re really pleased to have provided funding to support Broadacres in developing these fantastic new affordable homes and the development is an excellent example of Homes England’s commitment to increase the supply of affordable homes in areas of greatest need, including rural areas, meaning that people can stay close to their families and places of work.”
The homes have been built around a courtyard and as well as their own gardens and car parking, residents also have access to a communal gazebo area. Broadacres has also provided dedicated car parking spaces for the bungalows that face the development, as residents in these bungalows previously did not have their own parking.