Council to buy properties on new housing development in Alnwick to rent out at affordable rate

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Two homes at a new development in Alnwick will be rented out at an affordable rate to local people.

The homes form part of the Wynard Homes development at Greensfield Farm on the southern outskirts of the town.

A budget spend of £330,000 to acquire the three-bedroom houses has been approved by Northumberland County Council’s cabinet.

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Northumberland Estates received planning permission last year to build 19 units in total with a range of two, three and four-bedroom homes.

Greensfield Farm, Alnwick. Picture: GoogleGreensfield Farm, Alnwick. Picture: Google
Greensfield Farm, Alnwick. Picture: Google

As part of the development there is a planning requirement that five houses should be provided as affordable housing.

Subject to the necessary legal work being agreed with the developer, two 3-bedroom houses will be purchased by the council and rented out at an affordable rate (what will be no more than 80% of the market rate). Three 2-bedroom houses will also be available as Shared Ownership by another housing provider.

Planning approval has been granted for the development and work is expected to start on site this spring with an anticipated completion date of October 2024.

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Cllr Colin Horncastle, cabinet member with responsibility for looking after our environment, said: “The provision of more affordable housing, in areas of need, continues to be one of the county council's top priorities and the council is investing millions to address the issue.

"Council officers 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.

“Last year the council purchased another eight new houses in Alnwick which are currently being built and these will also be available to rent out at an affordable rate to local people in housing need.”

Cllr Gordon Castle, Alnwick ward member, said: “We know there is a high demand for larger, affordable homes in Alnwick for growing families so these new properties will be a very welcome addition to the community.

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“Once complete they will be rented out via the Northumberland Homefinder. Anyone interested should apply at “

Cllr Martin Swinbank, fellow Alnwick ward member, added: The need for affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing young people and families in Northumberland.

“These new family homes will be good quality, energy efficient and cheaper to run. They will also be integrated into a well-designed, small estate on the southern edge of the town.”

Northumberland County Council has allocated £45m in its Medium-Term Financial Plan up until 2026/7 to help provide more affordable housing in the county, in areas of greatest need.

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It is using a range of approaches including working to identify potential development sites, working with housing developers to deliver affordable housing through S106 agreements and facilitating community led schemes, to support the delivery of affordable housing where it is needed most.

Over the last seven years, around 1,700 affordable homes have been built which were secured through the planning process. More than 1,000 were affordable homes for rent, delivered by the council and partner housing associations. The remainder provided opportunities for affordable homeownership through a range of tenures including shared ownership or purchase at a discount.

It has also put policies in place through the planning system to restrict the use of new build homes as second and holiday homes.