Go-ahead for affordable homes in the Peak District

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 27 October 2004

27 October 2004

Go-ahead for affordable homes in the Peak District

The Peak District National Park Authority's drive to encourage affordable homes has been given its latest boost with the go-ahead for a family homes scheme in Bradwell.

The proposal for 12 three-bedroom homes to be built by Northern Counties Housing Association off Michlow Drive, is just one of several affordable schemes recently given the green light by the National Park Authority planning committee.

* In mid-November, work starts on 36 two- and three-bedroom houses in Highfield Road, Bakewell - some for rent and some for shared-ownership - by the Nottingham Community Housing Association.

* To be started next year is a 22-home affordable development in Tideswell, also involving the Nottingham CHA along with Dales Housing.

* Work has just started on a six-flat Peak District Rural Housing Association development in Castle Street, Bakewell, and another project is in the pipeline at Parwich, near Ashbourne.

National Park Authority lead member for affordable housing Chris Furness welcomed the latest developments: "I know the Authority is keen to see more affordable housing to meet the needs of people living or working in the Peak Park and I hope this will encourage similar applications in other communities.

"I see this type of housing as vital to village life, which together with reasonably-priced rentable properties and secure retirement accommodation, will encourage and enable local people to live out their lives in the communities in which they were born and raised.

"Affordable housing came out as the highest priority for residents during a series of village meetings we held this summer, and this is an example of the Authority responding to local concerns."

Planning committee chair Narendra Bajaria commented on the Bradwell scheme: "In approving the scheme unanimously the Committee was satisfied that it met genuine local need, location criteria, design quality and had minimum impact on the environment. It would represent a welcome addition to the stock of affordable homes in the Peak District."

The National Park Authority cannot build new homes itself, but it is concerned that many local people find themselves priced out of the market. Therefore it works closely with non-profit housing associations and local housing authorities to encourage affordable schemes which specifically meet that need. But buyers or tenants must be able to prove strong local connections, and whenever a property is sold on, similar conditions apply.

This policy, which has been used as a model by other national parks and was praised by an independent Planning Inspector this summer, has kept prices down to around a third below current open market levels.

The Authority recently produced a Supplementary Planning Guidance for housing developers, aimed at stimulating more affordable housing in the Park.

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This is an archived press release

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