One of the largest developments ever of affordable homes in the Peak District National Park has been approved - supported by the biggest ever capital grant for building local needs housing of £500,000 from Derbyshire Dales District Council.
The District Council was the driving force behind the partnership scheme for 30 new affordable homes to be built in Bakewell, a project approved on Friday by the Peak District National Park Authority.
Nineteen two-bedroom houses, five three-bedroom houses, two bungalows and four one-bedroom flats will be built in the £4.5million scheme on land next to Lady Manners secondary school.
Members of the Peak District National Park’s planning committee voted unanimously to approve the development, which helps address the large local need for affordable homes for young families and single people in Bakewell, the biggest town in the National Park.
Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, said:
“We have worked extremely hard on this project for the past ten years and are delighted on behalf of ourselves and our partners that these much-needed affordable homes have been secured for local people who have a link to Bakewell.
“The District Council has carried out two housing need surveys in Bakewell that highlighted the need for family homes and units for single people. We have allocated £500,000 capital funding to help make this development happen in the National Park, and it is great news that planning approval means work can get underway."
The site currently forms part of the grounds to Lady Manners School. Speaking at the planning committee meeting, chair of governors at Lady Manners School David Coe said:
“Proceeds of the sale of the land gives us the opportunity to invest in our field sports facilities which will be better for our students and the local community.”
The scheme has been developed over a decade of close working between Lady Manners School, Westleigh Partnerships Limited, Pelham Architects, Bakewell Town Council, the Peak District National Authority’s officers, the District Council and our Rural Housing Enabler.
The provision of affordable homes remains one of the District Council’s top two corporate priorities and our Head of Housing Rob Cogings told Friday's meeting:
"This scheme is the single most important affordable housing scheme in the District Council’s housing programme. We have never before allocated £0.5m to an affordable housing scheme – every penny has come from Right To Buy (RTB) proceeds from the former council housing stock. You can be assured that RTB receipts are being used to replace homes lost across the Derbyshire Dales in the National Park.
"There is an overwhelming need for these homes, with need identified using a well established methodology. The average house price in the Dales is £277,000 and average private sector rents are £687 per month. The Dales is the 4th least affordable district in the whole of the East Midlands. Residents need a household income of £68,000 to buy a house with an 80% mortgage. Market housing is far beyond the reach of many households.
"The scheme has the support of the Town Council who we first approached in 2008. What you have before you is the culmination of 10 years work.
"The quality of design remains extremely high. The architect for this scheme is the same person who designed the affordable housing scheme in Gindleford. There has been extensive pre application work that has gone on behind the scenes to agree materials and design features to ensure the scheme complies with your design guide. Much of the Council’s contribution is funding the higher design specification."
The new homes in Bakewell will be built in terraces in a small estate set around three cul de sacs. They will be constructed in a mixture of natural limestone and gritstone with blue slate roofs in keeping with the building traditions of the historic market town.
Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority’s planning committee, Paul Ancell, said:
“This decision shows our commitment to meeting local needs and encouraging housing affordability by allowing this large scale development of thirty new homes to be built in the National Park.
“A great deal of effort and thought has gone into the design of this much-needed development and demonstrates what can be achieved by the partner organisations working closely together.
“We are very pleased with the plans – it is a high quality scheme that will benefit a lot of local families in providing homes in an area where house prices are far beyond the means of many local people. It will also benefit the school through the sale of the land.”
When built the houses will be managed by Waterloo Housing Group.
Approval of the Bakewell scheme follows on from successful affordable housing projectsfor local people involving the District Council and the Peak District Rural Housing Association in the villages of Winster and Taddington.