This is an archived press release
Monday 22 November 2004
22 November 2004
Peak villagers scoop award for affordable homes
Villagers in Parwich, near Ashbourne, became award-winning pioneers when they launched their own scheme to build affordable housing.
Residents were delighted to receive the Chartered Institute of Housing's Best Community-led Initiative national award for their project to build three family homes on the former site of a dilapidated house once linked to the village school.
The £438,000 scheme is a groundbreaking success for a small village of only 520 residents, who chose Nottingham Community Housing Association to develop it for rental, with a Housing Corporation grant.
It all began four years ago with the Community Planning Project, administered by the Peak District National Park Authority, which helps villagers regenerate their communities in whatever way they feel best.
Through meetings and questionnaires, the residents set priorities - and high up the list came affordable housing.
Parwich dairy farmer Fiona Hadfield led the housing action group, and was delighted with the award: "We hope it will give other villages encouragement to have a go," she said, "it shows you can achieve things that may seem daunting at the start.
"Residents were concerned that the village was losing its young people - in recent years a lot of homes have gone for holiday lets, second homes or to the retired, and young people couldn't afford to buy a home in the village. We needed to keep a social balance to maintain community life and safeguard the future of the school."
The money Derbyshire County Council received from the sale of the site has provided a new classroom for the school, which now looks forward to more pupils from the three-bedroomed homes.
Parwich has also been allocated a grant for a drystone wall round the homes from the Community Planning scheme, whose Village Officer Dan Yates said: "This outstanding achievement for the village is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the Parwich Action Group.
"For the other 35 communities in the National Park who have produced village plans, this shows their efforts can produce significant social and economic benefits for their village."