New rural homes in West Witton and Askrigg
Two Richmondshire housing schemes which have created rural homes for people in housing need are being highlighted for Rural Housing Week.
Eight affordable homes are being created in West Witton and a historic building in Askrigg has become three homes.
The West Witton scheme began life in 2007 when it was put forward as a site in the Yorkshire Dales National Park suitable to satisfy localised housing need. In 2019 Hartforth Homes was signed up as developer and community consultation showed a growing housing need.
Developed in partnership with Broadacres, the scheme will provide a mix of eight two and three bedroom affordable homes. Two will be for rent and six for Discount Market Sale mechanism to local people to buy at a discount on the Open Market price. The remaining nine properties are for general sale to bring new families to the area and ensuring local schools, pubs and shops are sustainable. The scheme is being funded in part by Homes England’s “Home Building Fund”, Richmondshire District Council and Broadacres.
The Askrigg Foundation building fell into disuse and no-one wanted to lose a landmark building. It has been a mill, café, restaurant, antique shop and parish office in its long life.
A housing need survey conducted on behalf of the Trust identified a need for affordable homes to meet local demand. Work to convert it into one, one bed flat, one, two bed flat and one, two bed cottage began. This project has been driven by the community for the community with funding from Awards for All, Richmondshire‘s Community Led Housing Fund and Charity Bank. All three units have now been allocated.
One new tenant, Abbey, said that she and her partner would not have been able to stay local if it had not been for the conversion of the building. “We had been living with our respective parents, trying to save up but with the local house prices and deposits required it was impossible,” she said. “This opportunity to move into Courtyard Cottage has enabled us both to remain in the village that we love. Paying an affordable rent will allows us to continue to save and eventually reach our goal of buying a house in the village and letting someone else get a start in the village.”
Rural Housing Week is an annual national celebration led by the National Housing Federation. It raises awareness and promotes work to increase the delivery of affordable housing to enable local people to stay in the areas they live and have grown up in.
District Council Leader Angie Dale said: “Delivering affordable housing in our rural areas is an essential part of the drive to keep young people living and working within the district. I am delighted that the District Council has been able to assist in the schemes at Askrigg and West Witton.
“Seeing young people being able to remain living locally is the outcome that we are all working to achieve. We are looking forward to helping to deliver more housing schemes in the future in some of our other rural communities.”