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County pledges £430,000 for Dales affordable homes

[Monday 29 January 2007]

AFFORDABLE housing in the Yorkshire Dales has received a boost as North Yorkshire County Council announces its intention to pledge almost £500k towards the cost of providing affordable homes in one of the county's most expensive property areas.

Proposals to build 15 new homes at High Hall near Bainbridge, in Wensleydale, were drawn up last year but a hitch in the funding arrangements threatened to derail the project, when the Housing Corporation said the cost per unit of the development was too high for its criteria.

Now let us get on with building these houses so that young families can remain in the Upper Dales

John Blackie - Upper Dales Councillor

The County Council had already provided the site for the development at around a third of its value on the open market. In addition, the council had committed £100,000 towards the scheme. That contribution has now risen to £430, 000.

County Councillor Carl Les, executive member for corporate services, said: "There was a very real danger that this vital project would simply not happen.

"We believe there is an urgent need for affordable housing for local people in North Yorkshire - especially in areas like the Yorkshire Dales, where property prices are extremely high.

"This is a significant financial contribution to the project, but one which we believe to be absolutely essential."

John Blackie, Council member for the Upper Dales and leader of Richmondshire District Council, commented: "What was threatened by the Housing Corporation was a flagship rural partnership scheme of crucial importance to the local communities here in the Upper Dales.

"Due to the high standards of design and materials, building in a national park is never cheap and our distance from suppliers and specialised services incurs extra costs which add to this problem.

"Only an organisation of the critical mass and financial clout of the county council could have saved this scheme, which will deliver so much for local people, from the death blow it appeared to sustain.

"Now let us get on with building these houses so that young families can remain in the Upper Dales."

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