Local residents receive keys to new affordable homes in Northumberland town
People have started to move in to new affordable homes in Wooler.
Eleven affordable homes have been acquired by Northumberland County Council from housing developer Ascent Homes and are now being rented out, with priority being given to local people in housing need.
So far, four of these properties have been allocated.
James who has lived in Wooler for 20 years and also works in the town, was one of the first to be handed the keys to his new two-bedroomed home.
He is currently moving into it with his fiancee Sophie, who is expecting their first baby in the spring.
James said: “It’s fantastic that we now have a secure and comfortable place to live, at an affordable price. We have a baby on the way who will eventually go to the local school, and we have friends in the area.
"We cannot express how happy we are to get the opportunity to continue to live in Wooler next to friends, family and neighbours who are so much a part of our life.”
The affordable properties on the Kingsmead development comprise four, two-bedroomed houses and seven, two-bedroomed bungalows. They are being rented out to those on the
county Homefinder waiting list using the rural allocation policy where preference is given to those who have worked or lived in the parish or the adjoining parish.
Cllr Colin Horncastle, cabinet member for community services at Northumberland County Council, said: “The provision of more affordable housing, in areas of need, continues to be one of the county council’s top priorities and our plans include investing millions to address the issue.
“We are working very closely with housing developers and other housing providers to create more affordable housing right across the county in communities where there is an identified housing need.
“I went up to Wooler last week to have a look around the new houses. They are in a lovely location, with good views, yet within walking distance to the town centre and they are integrated into the new housing development.
“A thriving community needs people of all ages living in it. Young people are so important to the area as they are employed in local jobs and ensure local businesses and services continue to grow and prosper.
“The bungalows will also provide much needed accommodation for older people looking to down-size so they too can continue to live in their local community.”
Cllr Mark Mather, Wooler ward member, added: “The need for affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing young people and families in Northumberland, especially in rural villages where affordable housing is particularly scarce.
“We need to retain young people in this community and to achieve this we have to help create somewhere they can afford to live.
“This is a great scheme that will give families a place to call home at a price they can afford. I wish James and Sophie all the very best in their new and affordable home.”
The first phase of the Kingsmead development comprises 72 homes. Plans for a second phase of 12 homes were recently submitted.