Research to pinpoint need for new homes

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VILLAGERS are being urged to help shape plans to combat an affordable housing crisis in some of the most desirable locations in rural Yorkshire.

Scarborough Borough Council is carrying out a wide-ranging public consultation to establish the extent of the housing need and tackle long-held concerns many first-time buyers are being priced out of the market and having to move away from the communities where they grew up.

The district includes some of the region’s property hotspots along the coast and in the North York Moors National Park, although average wages fall woefully short in comparison with house prices.

The latest survey is being carried out in the parish of Brompton-by-Sawdon to assess housing need. Questionnaires have been delivered to households to establish how many more affordable homes are needed – either to rent or to buy – for local people.

A council spokesman said: “It is important that every household which receives a questionnaire and is in housing need responds. Without this evidence of what local people want, then affordable housing schemes – which can help keep open community services such as village schools and shops – cannot be built.”

Similar surveys have been carried out in other parishes in the borough and nearby villages in Ryedale. The research led to new developments in Sherburn, Thornton-le-Dale and villages in the North York Moors National Park. The council confirmed the homes are now all occupied by people with a local connection to the parish in which they were built.

The average property price in the Scarborough district was £163,330 in 2011 while the average wage was just £18,127, according to latest data from the National Housing Federation. But parts of the borough fall within some of Yorkshire’s most desirable postcodes, including the North York Moors where average house prices are in excess of £200,000.