Proposal for 11 affordable homes for rent in Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale

The council car park at Langthwaite in Arkengarthdale.

Plans have been revealed to form a new organisation which would oversee the building of affordable housing in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The Upper Wensleydale Community Partnership (UWCP) Ltd is looking to establish the Upper Dales Community Land Trust (CLT).

The CLT would aim to develop sites in the Upper Dales to provide affordable housing for rent to locals.

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Unlike councils and housing associations, the trust would not be subject to right to buy rules, meaning the houses would not be at risk of being sold off.

The trust would by looking to develop two sites initially.

One is in the Hawes area at a site to be announced which would have seven houses on it.

The second is the district council car park in Langthwaite which would have four houses.

UWCP is in the process of applying for a grant from Richmondshire District Council to pay for a part-time project worker to take the plans forward.

John Blackie, chairman of the partnership, said he had talked to senior officers at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and they had been supportive of the plan, as was park authority chairman Car Lis.

He said: “Obviously this is in regard to the provision of new affordable housing to rent in communities within the YDNP as they are too well aware of the crisis our deeply rural communities face in providing new opportunities for young families to remain in the YDNP.

“Naturally any planning application requires it to be considered on its own merits.”

Cllr Blackie added in a letter to Callum McKeon about the possibility of a grant for the staff member: “The increasing exodus of young families from the Upper Dales, as witnessed by the fall in the numbers on roll at most of our primary schools, mainly but not exclusively due to the lack of affordable housing so that they can remain living here, is incredibly urgent to tackle, so any delay in addressing it is not an option we can afford to contemplate.”