Concern over “absurd” £270,000 shared ownership affordable homes in Dales village

The Rose and Crown Hotel in Bainbridge.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has been accused of failing residents seeking to remain in their communities by “taking the easy route” by recommending developers be allowed to build the wrong type of affordable housing.

The authority has come under fire again from residents of Bainbridge where its headquarters is based as controversial proposals to build homes on a farm field by the grade II listed Rose and Crown pub re-emerged.

Hornblower Developments wants to build five shared ownership homes, which it says would allow those in housing need buy a share of between 25 per cent and 80 per cent of properties, which would be managed by a housing association.

Valuations provided for the proposed affordable homes are up to £280,000, while the average Richmondshire house price is £237,000.

The plans follow continuing concerns over a serious shortage of affordable properties in the national park, which community leaders say is fuelling a decline in the number of younger, working aged residents in the area.

A survey by the authority in 2019 found there are 192 households in need of affordable housing in the park, of which 23 are in Richmondshire.

The proposal, which is due to be considered by the authority’s planning committee next Tuesday, follows a high-profile struggle over the site in 2018, which centred on whether the proposed properties were affordable.

Members were advised the proposed homes were “on the margins of affordability having regard to local incomes and house prices” and approved despite the threat of a legal challenge.

The authority’s planning committee twice passed the application, but affordable housing campaigners claimed no decision notice was issued due to a threat of judicial review as the affordable houses were considered unaffordable.

Bainbridge Parish Council said following a public meeting over the latest scheme it was agreed whilst the affordable homes were needed in the community, they were not needed on a shared ownership basis.

A parish council spokesman said: “This arrangement is not appealing to local people and has not proved successful in alleviating the housing crisis.

“Local people need local properties that are available for them to buy at truly affordable prices.”

Upper Dales councillor Yvonne Peacock said it was “absurd” that a shared ownership house valued at about £270,000 was now considered affordable when two years ago the same house was considered unaffordable at £190,000.

She highlighted that two years ago nine families had expressed an interest to buy affordable homes in the village outright.

Cllr Peacock said: “Our young local families cannot afford to buy on the open market in the Dales. This site was a good opportunity to own a home and it was taken away.

“Rather than fight the judicial review, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has taken the easy route of shared ownership homes. Without the opportunity of 100 per cent ownership, they would be too costly.

“I feel our families are not allowed to own their own home in the community they grew up in and live.”

In a report to the meeting, planning officers recommend the scheme be granted, saying the shared ownership proposal was flexible and would allow “intermediate affordable” rented homes, all of which would be available for those in housing need meeting the local connection criteria.

1 Comment

  1. This proposal is not affordable to anyone that Is in genuine need of an affordable home.
    It is also of little benefit to the National Park and local community but will without doubt, benefit the developer/builder.

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