** Please note: This was the second of two news releases issued by Broadacres Housing Association to mark Rural Housing Week 2023.
A housing association has been inundated with interest from local people keen to be considered for new affordable homes which are close to completion in Sedbergh.
Broadacres will begin handing over homes in the first phase of the 49-home development off Station Road in the autumn.
And based on an information event held at the end of June, it is clear that the homes will be in demand, with over 200 people attending and many registering their interest in the properties.
This came just a week before South Lakes MP Tim Farron visited the site along with representatives of Broadacres, its contractor Equans, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and South Lakes Housing as part of events organised to mark Rural Housing Week from 3rd to 7th July.
Broadacres is building a mixture of two and three-bedroom houses and two-bedroom bungalows, as well as three four-bedroom and one five-bedroom home.
Of the 49 homes built, 34 will be for affordable rent and shared ownership, with people in Sedbergh and the surrounding communities given first refusal on these properties. The affordable homes will be managed on Broadacres’ behalf by South Lakes Housing.
The remaining 15 homes will be offered for open market sale, which means the percentage of affordable homes on the site will be 69 per cent.
Gail Teasdale, Broadacres’ Chief Executive, said: “We were delighted with the response to our information day and whilst we expected demand to be high when we originally planned this scheme; the interest has even exceeded our expectations.
“It was particularly pleasing to see so many young people attending with their parents and seeing the excitement on their faces at the prospect of being able to get their first home in the area in which they grew up.
“Broadacres is committed to making rural communities sustainable for future generations and working with our partners, we are now looking forward to handing over these homes to local people between this autumn and spring 2024.”
Tim Farron said: “I was absolutely delighted to visit the Broadacres affordable housing development in Sedbergh to mark Rural Housing Week.
“Not only is there a huge demand for these houses, but there is also a very acute need. We are in desperate need of more affordable homes so that people who grew up in our area can afford to stay here, raise a family and contribute to the economy and vibrancy of our local communities.
“That is why I am proud to support affordable housing developments like this one which give people that opportunity.”
Libby Bateman, who represents Sedbergh parish as a Member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “Broadacres Housing Association and its contractor are setting a really high standard.
“The development will increase biodiversity on the site. This is being done through tree planting, creation of wildflower grasslands and the insertion of hollow ‘bricks’ into the homes to create nest sites for bats and swifts. There will be an impressive 51 swift bricks. And all heating and hot water will be provided by air source heat pumps, avoiding the need for fossil fuels, which is great.
“Most importantly, this housing development in Sedbergh means that local people will be able to have their own home in the community where they grew up, enabling them to raise their own families within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
“The National Park Authority is proud to have supported this development, as one of the objectives of the 2019– 2024 Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan was to see the completion of 400 new dwellings.”
Niki Stockton, Director of Customer Experience at South Lakes Housing, said: “I am not surprised that there has been significant interest in this development – there is a great need for new affordable homes in Sedbergh and the new homes are very impressive, and built to a high standard. I am delighted that South Lakes Housing will be assisting Broadacres with the management of the homes once they are completed and we look forward to local families moving into their new homes in the months to come.”
Chris Price, Operations Director for Equans, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Broadacres in showcasing our Sedbergh development to the community and to Tim Farron MP. These homes will give locals the opportunity to stay living and working locally in modern, high-quality properties that are genuinely affordable.
“Future residents will also feel the benefit of Air Source Heat Pumps for their heating and hot water. Equans specialises in implementing Zero Carbon technologies in developments, with residents benefitting from a reduced carbon footprint and hopefully save money on their energy bills.”