A GOVERNMENT MInister has praised the 'vision and determination' of a York housing trust in creating Derwenthorpe.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins MP visited the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust's 500-home development on York's eastern outskirts yesterday , speaking to residents, Trust board members and representatives of developers David Wilson Homes and Richard Partington Architects.

He also toured the site, calling in at the 'Super Sustainable Centre,' which provides heating and hot water to residents through the burning of biomass fuel as well as acting as a meeting place for residents, businesses, schools and local groups.

He told The Press later: "It's been very cleverly designed and I take my hat off to the architect. "

He said that when he had met two residents, they had been 'so chuffed' and proud about their home. "That has got to be the test," he said.

"The trust had the vision to put some of the infrastructure in place and I know there has been a lot of challenge from the community but I think that engagement from the trust and that investment will pay dividends in the future. There is great public realm, green space, a play area."

Asked if he needed more schemes like Derwenthorpes to be built across the country to counter the housing crisis, he said: "What I need is local authorities and trusts like the Rowntree Trust to offer leadership and have the vision to shape spaces.

"You can with vision and determination create an amazing space like this. We do need lots of houses but you can be creative about it. You look at the shape of these houses and the size and the efficiency associated with it and you see they have an important contribution to make.

"I am sure lots of communities would like this and it is really impressive, creative thinking that has delivered it."

Nigel Ingram, director for development and asset management at the trust, said: “We are proud to showcase how this development is providing much-needed family homes in York, as well as demonstrating how high-quality homes can be built in a way that benefits a wide variety of families, the current environment and is resilient to future challenges posed by climate change.”