Developer wins four-year battle to build affordable homes in Dales village despite legal challenges from locals
Applicants Hornblower Developments Ltd have submitted proposals for the scheme three times in the past four years, and despite support from the National Park Authority, have faced legal challenges to the planning process from a group of local residents.
The latest application for the site near the Rose and Crown pub is four shared ownership homes in partnership with a housing association.
Coun Jim Munday said: “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to approve more new affordable homes in the National Park. Because this is shared ownership housing, it means that a young couple only need to be able to afford 25 per cent of the cost of the house in order to get a foot on the housing ladder. Shared ownership will enable local people to buy a modern home that they otherwise might not be able to afford.
“The developer has shown great patience in the face of local campaigns that have made this development really challenging and I commend the company’s resolve to build good quality affordable homes for local people. We need a wide range of different affordable housing types across the National Park as well as more sites, such as the one in West Witton that is now nearing completion.”
Previous objections centred around the fact that the houses were not considered wholly 'affordable' in relation to average local house prices.
Bainbridge parish council said following a public meeting over the latest scheme it was agreed whilst the affordable homes were needed in the community, they were not needed on a shared ownership basis.
A parish council spokesman said: "This arrangement is not appealing to local people and has not proved successful in alleviating the housing crisis. Local people need local properties that are available for them to buy at truly affordable prices."
Upper Dales councillor Yvonne Peacock said it was "absurd" that a shared ownership house valued at about £270,000 was now considered affordable when two years ago the same house was considered unaffordable at £190,000.
She highlighted that two years ago nine families had expressed an interest to buy affordable homes in the village outright.