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Affordable housing for Hawes

[Tuesday 04 April 2006]

As the ban on second homes implemented last year by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority - aimed at making houses in the area affordable for local people - looks likely to be taken up by other planning authorities across the UK, Richmondshire District Council is tackling the problem head-on.

Construction of ten new homes, which will be within the financial reach of local people, has begun in Hawes. The partnership with Broadacres Housing Association will see four 3 bedroom and four 2 bedroom houses built, as well as two 2 bedroom bungalows on the site in Gayle Lane.

Affordable housing development in Hawes
Affordable housing development in Hawes

"Providing affordable housing is one of the District Council's key priorities," says Councillor Peter Wood, Chairman of the Authority's Community Committee.

"We have almost completed the conversion of seven former garage sites to new homes, and other projects are currently underway in Richmond, Brompton on Swale and Colburn. It is very important to keep the momentum going, and explore every possibility for creating this type of local needs housing provision."

Hawes is typical of many Dales communities that have seen their younger residents move away as the cost of housing spiralled beyond their reach. Money raised through a central Government scheme - whereby local Authorities were given the power to reduce the Council Tax rebates on second homes - is now being ploughed into affordable housing projects across the Yorkshire Dales.

It is hoped that this, in conjunction with the National Park policy, will help to alleviate the problem and stop younger Dales residents drifting away.

"I'm delighted work has got underway at last," added John Blackie, Council member for Hawes.

"It has been a long road to get to this stage as the Rural Housing Trust surveys identified the need for this accommodation back in 1999.

"However we are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and by the end of the year we will have some marvellous and much needed homes for local people here."

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