Dean of Ripon inspects new affordable housing in Wensleydale

A housekeeper, mechanic, catering manager and an ambulance practitioner are among those set to benefit from a new affordable housing scheme which will assist local people to get on the housing ladder in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The £1.2 million scheme has received the official seal of approval from The Dean of Ripon, the Rev John Dobson, who last week was given a sneak preview of the homes which have been built in Bainbridge.

Broadacres Housing Association is preparing to hand over the keys to five properties on land at the back of the Rose & Crown pub in Bainbridge.

Two, two-bedroom semi-detached properties and three, three-bedroom terraced homes are being offered via shared ownership to people with a connection to the village and the surrounding areas, as part of Broadacres’ strategy of ensuring rural communities like this remain sustainable for future generations.

Providing access to high-quality, affordable rural housing has been one of Dean John’s key priorities since he arrived at Ripon Cathedral in 2014. He chaired the North Yorkshire Rural Commission which identified rural housing as one of the seven key areas in its Rural North Yorkshire – The Way Forward report.

Dean John said: “It is a great encouragement to see this wonderful, high-quality housing development at Bainbridge.

“It shows that the North Yorkshire Rural Commission’s recommendation that five houses be built in each parish is possible – at least, in many parishes. The Commission asked for 40% of the provision to be affordable, Broadacres have gone further by making 100% part-ownership for those with a community link.

“This is just the sort of initiative which the Ripon Cathedral Rural Housing Forum is now trying to inspire and facilitate across the region by bringing together organisations who can and wish to make a positive difference for families and communities.”

Gail Teasdale, Broadacres’ chief executive, said: “We were delighted that Dean John was able to take time out from his busy schedule to view our new homes at Bainbridge and find out more about our work to ensure rural communities like this remain affordable for future generations.

“One of the recommendations in the North Yorkshire Rural Commission report was that each parish should build five homes over a ten-year period. By working closely with our partners, we have succeeded in building five affordable homes in Bainbridge.

“Broadacres is committed to delivering more schemes like this in the coming years and we are actively involved in discussions with landowners, planners and other local stakeholders in relation to several other rural sites in our area.”

Broadacres worked in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, North Yorkshire Council, and its local contractor Richmond-based Randall Orchard Construction, on the scheme, which attracted grant funding of £250,000 from Homes England.

The homes have been built using reclaimed stone of a colour and texture similar to adjacent properties, ensuring they are in keeping within the village. Each property will be heated by a renewable energy heat pump and have been built with high levels of energy efficiency in mind.

This is Broadacres second scheme in Bainbridge, having converted a former Victorian workhouse and adjoining land into 17 affordable homes in 2008.

It also completed work on another scheme in the National Park, providing eight affordable homes in the village of West Witton in 2022 and it is currently building 49 homes on the western side of the National Park in Sedbergh.