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Derwenthorpe York housing development latest
CONTRACTS for the remaining three phases of one of York’s biggest housing developments are set to be let by the end of March to help ensure they win Government funding for affordable homes.
But the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust says it cannot be sure when groundwork will start on the second, third and fourth phases of the 520-home Derwenthorpe scheme, and their completion date is also ‘subject to confidential commercial discussions.’ However, it says the first phase, involving the construction of homes, is on track for completion by the end of the month, as required by the Government.
The news came as it emerged that the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency has raised concerns about the prices being charged for ‘First Buy’ homes built in the first phase.
A spokesman for the York-based trust said the Government wanted housing associations to crack on with building affordable homes to ease the housing crisis, and wanted organisations such as the trust to demonstrate they were in a position to make a start.
He said: “JRHT have for a number of years been working towards Government targets to deliver much-needed affordable homes in York and have specifically scheduled their activities for future phases at Derwenthorpe to ensure they are committed by the end of the financial year.”
“It’s worth reiterating York has an acute shortage of affordable housing and it is critical homes are provided for people who are in need. JRHT will continue to work hard to provide family homes for the city and its residents.”
Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters, who obtained correspondence between the Trust and the HCA through a Freedom of Information request, said he would be concerned if work started on all three phases, on different parts of the site, at the same time, as this would make it difficult to monitor the impact, claiming work on phase one had already caused untold waterlogging problems.
The correspondence also revealed concerns at the HCA about the prices being charged for First Buy homes in phase one, with an official saying last autumn that the cheapest homes currently advertised at Derwenthorpe was £292,000, when the upper limit for ‘First Buy’ was £280,000,” adding: “It would be useful to know if any ‘cheaper’ homes are coming on stream.”
A trust spokesman told The Press: “The Issue of First Buy and prices for private tenancies is one for David Wilson Homes (who are building the homes). JRHT is providing the social/affordable housing elements to the scheme. Homes are available under a range of tenancies and phase one has been successful in take up.”