This is an archived press release
Tuesday 26 September 2006
26 September 2006
Dowager Duchess visits Peak District affordable housing
The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire found out at first hand about the latest affordable housing schemes in the Peak District National Park.
The Dowager Duchess had asked to see examples of affordable housing for local people, and was shown a 22-home development nearing completion in Tideswell, and 12 family homes in Bradwell where new occupiers were just moving in.
“I was very impressed with everything I saw,” she said. “The houses at Tideswell fill the criteria, so apt for this part of the country, in that they look as if they have always been there.
“The newly-occupied house at Bradwell is obviously a joy to its new tenant, and I can understand her pleasure in the place – light, roomy and cheerful, with wonderful views.
“It is so pleasing to realise that this programme is well on its way, with so many more similar houses needed all over the Peak Park.”
Her guide was Peak District National Park Authority Member Chris Furness, who is Lead Member for affordable housing, and a Bradwell parish councillor.
The Peak District was the first National Park to promote affordable housing for local people in the early 1990s. Though the Authority cannot provide housing itself, it is the planning authority, and as such it restricts consent for most new-build homes to occupancy by local people who could not otherwise afford to get on the housing ladder. In the past 15 years more than 400 such homes have been permitted, and this year the Authority won a commendation from the Royal Town Planning Institute for its policy and design-standards.
Chris Furness said: “Her Grace was clearly impressed by the design standard and quality of the houses and agreed that such high standards were very necessary in a National Park. These houses were much-needed in my own village to help young families stay in the area, but they still only go part way to satisfying the demand.”
The Authority works closely with developers, housing associations, local authorities and parishes to make sure the homes are built where there is a need, and blend in with existing settlements.
The Tideswell scheme, due for completion in November, is being built by Dales Housing, and the Bradwell scheme has been built by the Northern Counties Housing Association.