Local residents start moving into new Gilling West housing scheme

Irene Nichol with her dog Lilly outside the front of her home in Gilling West.

Residents have begun moving into new affordable homes on a £1.6 million scheme in Gilling West designed to ensure rural communities remain sustainable for local people.

Every person in the 11 homes which have been built by Broadacres in Oswin Grove has a connection to the village, either because they originally come from the village, or they work in the surrounding area.

They include Irene Nichol, who is renting a two-bedroom home.

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The grandmother-of-seven has lived in Gilling West for the past 11 years.

She said: “My family live in the area and I have horses stabled on the outskirts of the village, so I was keen to remain in Gilling.

“The one-bedroom property I was renting privately had become expensive to maintain as I needed to pay for electricity for the central heating and coal/logs for the fire, plus it was difficult when one of my grandchildren wanted to stay over.

“I applied for one of the new properties and I was able to choose my house which has amazing views out to countryside at the back which I am able to enjoy from a decking area and garden.

“I have lived in older properties all my life and never thought I would want to be in a new one, but I can’t see my going back now.

“I pay only a little bit more in rent each month but for that I have a much bigger house with a guest bedroom and I think I will actually end up saving money on heating as the new house is so much more efficient.

“It feels like I have died and gone to heaven.”

Broadacres worked in partnership with Richmondshire District Council and its contractor Esh Property Services to build the homes on the site of the former Oswin Grove sheltered housing scheme, in the heart of the village. The scheme was demolished in 2015 after being affected by flooding.

The homes on the new development have been built at a higher level so they will not be affected by any possible flooding. This is in addition to the flood alleviation work that was carried out in the village a few years ago.

In total, Broadacres are providing five three-bedroom homes and five two-bedroom homes for rent and one two-bedroom home for sale via shared ownership.

The buyer of the shared ownership property has purchased a percentage of their home and pay a small rent to Broadacres on the remainder. Shared ownership enables people to get on the property ladder without having to find a big deposit or pay off a large mortgage.

The total cost of the development is £1.64 million, which includes a grant of £352,000 from Homes England, the Government body responsible for delivering new homes.

Gail Teasdale, Broadacres chief executive, said: “Working with our partners, we are delighted to have been able to provide much-needed affordable homes for local people in a popular village where the cost of renting privately or buying outright is high.

“During the initial consultation process, people living in the village expressed a desire to see more family homes and to ensure any development is in keeping with the area. We have responded to their wishes and have delivered a scheme which adds great value to the village.”

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 is also providing dedicated car parking spaces for the bungalows that face the development, as residents in these bungalows previously did not have their own parking.

Gail added: “We operate in an area where there are high rents and house prices, and this makes it difficult for people who grew up or work in rural areas to remain in the local communities. This is why providing affordable homes to rent and buy, through shared ownership, is one of Broadacres’ key priorities.

“We are committed to providing great homes, great places and great customer experience, and schemes like Gilling West are truly reflective of this.”

Cllr Ian Threlfall, housing spokesperson for Richmondshire District Council, which gifcted the land to Broadacres, said: “We are delighted to see the completion of this development which provides further affordable housing opportunities for local families in Richmondshire, and is part of our ongoing work with partners to encourage younger people to live and work in the District.”

Amanda Madden, Rural Housing Enabler for Richmondshire District Council, said: This development provides an affordable option for local people who want to remain living in Richmondshire and this scheme is a great example of what true partnership working can achieve.”

Karen Anderson, from Homes England, said: “I am really pleased to visit Oswin Grove again.

“Having seen it partially complete, I love the finishes to the homes and the way they blend in with the rest of the village.

“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 first residents are moving ahead of national Rural Housing Week.

This year the week is themed around showing how affordable housing is helping rural communities to survive and thrive.

Rural Housing Week, which runs from July 2 to 6, is organised by the National Housing Federation and aims to highlight rural housing issues and how housing associations across the UK are using innovative solutions to tackle them.

For more information on Rural Housing Week visit www.housing.org.uk