Work due to start on Wensleydale affordable housing development

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak and Broadacres Chief Executive with Broadacres’ staff and partners at West Witton.

A housing association has announced plans to start work on a rural affordable housing scheme in Wensleydale.

Broadacres used Rural Housing Week to reveal that work will shortly get underway on the two schemes – in West Witton, near Leyburn, and Carlton Miniott, near Thirsk.

All the homes will be allocated to people with a connection to the area with the aim of ensuring that rural areas remain sustainable for future generations.

At West Witton, working in partnership with Hartforth Homes, Broadacres is being allocated eight of the 17 homes being built on a field at Harenda Field, in the centre of the village.

When completed in autumn 2020, six of the two and three-bedroom homes will be allocated via discounted sale, with two being available for affordable rent.

This will be Broadacres’ first development in the Yorkshire Dales National Park since 2008, when it completed a scheme in Bainbridge.

The West Witton scheme has been in the pipeline for a number of years and is now happening thanks to support from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Richmondshire District Council and Homes England.

In Carlton Miniott, working with its developing partner Moody Construction, Broadacres is building seven homes on Carlton Road. The site is currently used for farming, but Broadacres has been granted a rural exception to enable it to provide affordable homes for local people.

When completed in July 2020, it will offer two and three-bedroom homes for shared ownership and two-bedroom homes for affordable rent. There will also be a one and two-bedroom apartment for affordable rent.

This will be Broadacres’ first rural exception site since 2015 when it completed a scheme at Hutton Rudby, which was opened by Princess Anne.

Gail Teasdale, chief executive of Broadacres, said: “We are delighted to be able to shortly start work on two strategic rural housing developments, which will provide high quality homes for local people.

“Due to their complexity, rural schemes of this nature are difficult to progress so it’s testament to the fantastic support we receive from our partners which is bringing these developments to fruition.

“Ensuring our rural communities remain sustainable for future generations is an important part of Broadacres’ housing strategy and ultimately it’s our goal to become the best rural housing provider in the UK.”

Richmond (Yorks) MP Rishi Sunak and Thirsk MP Kevin Hollinrake, both visited the new development sites in their respective constituencies.

Mr Sunak said: “This is great site for new housing for local people. It is an ideal infill development close to the centre of the village which will provide the homes the area needs to meet local demand and also help sustain local services.”

Mr Hollinrake said: “Broadacres have found a fantastic location for an affordable housing scheme in Carlton Miniott which will enable local people to remain in the area where they grew up or work, and hopefully we can find more sites like this to provide homes for shared ownership or affordable rent.”

Richmondshire District Council Leader, Councillor Angie Dale, said: “We are delighted to see the West Witton scheme coming to fruition. It has been 12 years in the making and has come about through strong partnerships – working with our rural housing enabler to assess the need for this type of housing and cash from the council to support the affordable element of the project.”

Jo Allen, external affairs manager (Yorkshire and The Humber) for the National Housing Federation, also visited the West Witton site as part of the Federation’s Rural Housing Week initiative.

She said: “It is fantastic that these much-needed new homes are in development as they will have such a positive impact on the local communities.

“Rural housing associations like Broadacres are committed to improving the lives of the people who live and work in rural areas – just a few new homes in a village can make all the difference to young families and those on modest incomes and keep rural communities thriving.”