Arkengarthdale affordable homes set for approval

The site of the proposed houses.

Planning officers have recommended that plans for four affordable homes in Arkengarthdale should be approved.

The Upper Dales Community Land Trust Ltd (UD CLT) has applied to build four homes, which would remain for rent in perpetuity, on a site in Langthwaite.

Two of the homes would have three bedrooms and two would have two.

The trust is working with the local parish council to progress the scheme.

A report for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority planning meeting, which will take place next Tuesday, recommends that the scheme is approved.

It concludes: “This is an encouraging proposal for community led housing made by a community land trust that would help increase the supply of local housing for the local community.

“It would secure the delivery of four affordable homes available for affordable rent in perpetuity for those in housing need in Langthwaite and surrounding parishes that meet the local connection criteria.

“The proposal would address a proven local need that is supported by the Housing Authority and there are no alternative sites within the housing development boundary that could deliver affordable housing.

“In addition to affordable homes, the proposal would also provide a new area of public space to the benefit of the community and visitors.”

Cllr John Blackie, chair of UD CLT, said they hoped to announce soon that they had secured the £750,000 needed in grants and loans to build the homes, with a start date of spring 2019 the target.

He said the aim was to deliver a scheme that remained in the ownership of the local community, and provide housing for four families with affordable accommodation to rent in perpetuity in Arkengarthdale.

He added: “In many ways Arkengarthdale is on the brink of losing all its community infrastructure with its village shop, Post Office, sub-branch of a bank, bus service, and Methodist chapel all gone and its primary school, with its wonderful family-circle offer of a classic rural educational and social experience, on the very edge of survival.

“Yet regeneration has been taking place in the last few years with its award winning CB Inn and Restaurant saved from dereliction by an astute rural entrepreneur and now offering employment for over 20 local people, the moorland sporting sector bringing new gamekeeper jobs to the Dale, and the bright prospect of combining its stunning landscapes with fast modern communications and attracting footloose IT entrepreneurs to settle or stay and expand their enterprises locally”

He added “This is most definitely the last, last chance saloon for the Arkengarthdale – we intend to grab it with both hands.”