Wensleydale woman moves into own home after 20-year wait

A woman who waited 20 years for affordable housing to be built in the Yorkshire Dales village she has worked in for her entire career has finally realised her dream of home ownership.

Carly Thompson recently moved with her partner Pete Akers into a three-bedroom home in West Witton, after taking advantage of a discounted sale option offered by Broadacres Housing Association to people with a connection to the village or surrounding area.

Carly and Pete are among the residents who have now all moved into their homes completed by Broadacres in partnership with local developer Hartforth Homes

Broadacres were allocated eight of the 17 homes built in the centre of the village. Six of the two and three-bedroom homes have been allocated via the discounted sale scheme, with the other two being offered for affordable rent.

All of the homes are heated using renewable energy, via air source heat pumps.

Carly, 39, who is one of the managers at the Wensleydale Heifer restaurant in West Witton, grew up in the nearby village of Finghall, and had known about the development site for the past 20 years.

She and Pete, a stonemason, spent over four years saving up a deposit for a home and when they realised the scheme was finally coming to fruition, they registered their interest and were delighted when they discovered they had been allocated a home.

Carly said: “We were renting privately in the village, but it was getting to the stage where we thought we would have to move away to realise our dream of owning a home in West Witton.

“The demand in the Yorkshire Dales is very high and we would have struggled to buy a home due to the unaffordable prices but when the Broadacres’ scheme became a reality, we hoped we would be successful.

“We would not have been able to buy the home without the 30% discount offered to local people so to now be in our own home after so many years is fantastic.

“It’s just a few hundred yards away from where I work, so it really is a dream come true.”

Carly says she is now surrounded by people she has known most of life who have also benefitted from the scheme, including a local farmer and a couple who work in the horseracing industry in nearby Middleham.

“There’s already a lovely little community here so we couldn’t be happier.”

Carly says they have already noticed the difference with having the heat pump warming the home.

She added: “Our old home had oil heating, so it was expensive to heat but we are already noticing how warm and efficient the heat pump is and even with the high electricity prices, we are still paying much less than we were.”

West Witton is Broadacres first development in the Yorkshire Dales National Park since 2008, when it completed a scheme in Bainbridge. Another scheme in the National Park, in Sedbergh, is currently underway and will be completed in 2023.

Gail Teasdale, Broadacres’ chief executive, said: “The Yorkshire Dales remains one of the most desirable locations to live in our area, so we are delighted to have been able to provide affordable homes for local people like Carly and Pete.

“We couldn’t have achieved this without support from partners, particularly the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Richmondshire District Council and Hartforth Homes.

“As the only housing association with its headquarters in North Yorkshire we are committed to improving the lives of the people who live and work in our rural areas – just a few new homes in a village can make all the difference to local people, young families, local businesses and communities.”

2 Comments

  1. Lucky for some…..I’m pleased a local (although not sure how local is defined for the purpose of affordable housing) has succeeded in attaining their goal, a brand new house with all modern services. But I assumed all affordable homes on this site (at the EDGE of the village) went to people from West Witton after all the hue and cry about how many local people needed homes in the village, despite surveys indicating the greatest need was for single dwellings! Not convinced this site met local needs identified for single people or the massive upheaval it’s caused!! Also two new houses at the opposite end of the village have just been built,each costing over £350k, with a 106 local covenant on, which locals can afford this….

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