Affordable homes scheme backed by £300,000 grant

Last Updated: 23 February 2023

A new affordable housing development in Staveley has been backed by a £300,000 grant from us, subject to receiving planning approval.

Castles and Coasts Housing Association asked for the affordable housing grant to support the proposed third phase of its Crookfield development and to help maximise sustainability and energy efficiency of the new homes.

Crookfield Phase 3 is being brought forward for development by CCHA in partnership with Russell Armer Homes, now part of Cumbrian housebuilder Genesis Homes.

Phase 3 will provide 20 much-needed, low-cost, affordable homes for the village as part of a mixed tenure scheme, with four two-bedroom bungalows, and a mixture of 16 two- and three-bedroom houses available for affordable rent, shared ownership and rent-to-buy tenures. Five open-market houses for local occupancy are also planned to contribute further required subsidy to the affordable scheme. 

The grant will support the homes to be highly insulated and airtight by enhancing the "fabric first" approach to design and maximising solar PV panels on the affordable rented units, ensuring those in the greatest housing need will benefit from lower running costs for their home, along with a greener form of energy production.

Councillor Helen Chaffey, portfolio holder for Housing, said: "The demand for affordable housing is high in South Lakeland. A key priority for South Lakeland District Council has for many years been to support the delivery of balanced communities, with the availability of affordable homes a crucial element of that.

"We are delighted to be able to provide this grant, which will support our target of facilitating the construction of 1,000 affordable homes to rent by 2025 while also meeting another council priority of responding to climate change by ensuring that new development is sustainable, energy efficient and flood resilient."

Members of SLDC's Cabinet heard that delivering the homes to this higher sustainability standard together with challenging drainage issues on the site next to the already constructed phases 1 and 2 had added considerably to the project's build costs.

David Brown, Head of Development at CCHA, said: "Castles and Coasts remain committed to delivering important affordable housing schemes for local people in need within the Lake District National Park. Following the success of our award-winning scheme in Coniston completed in early 2022, which was also supported by SLDC, we are delighted with this award of grant for the scheme in Staveley.

"Developing new homes in the Lake District is always complex and challenging, with phase 3 of Crookfield having some site-specific constraints, particularly developing a considered drainage strategy alongside local stakeholders that adds no additional flows to the existing mains sewers in the village, which mean the support from SLDC is essential to allow the site to come forward."

John Blue, Managing Director of Genesis and Russell Armer Homes, said; "We are delighted to be involved in the development of 20 affordable homes in the Lake District National Park, accompanying the construction of five open-market properties which will be available for summer 2024. Sharing the vision with Castles and Coasts, we are committed to making all our developments as environmentally friendly as possible, with the added benefits of enhancing the biodiversity in the local area and reducing the running costs for residents."

The planning application for the development is expected to be heard by the Lake District Park Development Control Committee in May 2023, and subject to being granted planning approval, work on site is planned to begin later in the year.