NEARLY 50 'affordable' homes have come on the market in Kendal in a new development at Cragg Close, off Rydal Road, in Sandylands, Kendal.

They consist of:

* 14 one or two bedroom flats for rent

* 23 shared equity two or three bedroom houses

* Eight rental houses

* Two rental bungalows


Shared equity homes are a form of affordable housing in which housing associations share the equity of a new home with the buyer. 

Two bed houses are available for £95,000 and three bed for £110,000 for around an 80 per cent share of the equity. 

Meanwhile, those three and four bedroom homes on the open market have just been released with prices from £199,950.

The first four houses made available were bought within hours of going on the market.

South Lakeland District Council said the development was larger because it made land available on the condition that 50 per cent of the Cragg Close properties were made affordable housing.

Usually, council policies dictate that only 35 per cent of houses have to be affordable.

The homes were built by Russell Armer Homes, in a development partnership with SLDC, Impact Housing Association, and property company NPS Group.

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership also provided a loan to cover the infrastructure costs of the project.

Coun Jonathan Brook, SLDC's strategic growth portfolio holder, said: “The superb Cragg Close development is yet another example of SLDC's determination to meet the challenge of providing new housing, including affordable homes for local people.

“This development would not have happened without the involvement of the council and we are pleased to see these new houses becoming available today.

"We look forward to seeing more local people having the opportunity to live and work here in the near future as the result of our policies and partnership delivering real benefits for the residents of South Lakeland.”

Martyn Nicholson, managing director of Russell Armer Homes, said: “It has been good to work with positive partners who, together with the land owners, agents and consultants, all sought ways to work together to solve the many issues and complications that have been met over the journey to bring the site forward.

"After 14 years working on this project it is hugely satisfying to see the first people moving in to their new home and starting a fresh chapter in their lives."

Mike Muir, Chief Executive of Impact Housing, said: “Cragg Close has been an incredibly complex project which has taken a good few years to bring to fruition.

“Russell Armer Homes have handed us our first rented properties and we are looking to marketing the shared ownership properties that will come next.

"There is very strong demand for all of them. Cragg Close is set to become one of the biggest and most varied communities to be developed in South Lakes for many years."

David Pogson, estates surveyor in the Kendal office of NPS Group, said: “The Cragg Close development is an excellent example of how the council works together with the housing association, partners and private sector developers to meet affordable housing need for local people within the district.

“In this case the joint approach will provide 94 houses in three phases over a number of years and 47 of those houses will be for rent or sale to local people at affordable levels. "

“The affordability restrictions negotiated by NPS Group on behalf of SLDC mean that not only are the initial rents or sale prices at affordable levels but all future lettings and sales will also be subject to the same criteria, so preserving the benefit for future local tenants and purchasers. "