A PLAN to invest up to £22 million to build or acquire more than 200 new affordable homes by March 2020 has been agreed by Selby District Council.

Twenty new affordable homes already been built at sites in Byram and Eggborough and 30 more are lined up for other areas including Selby town and Riccall.

Now the council has a plan that will see it make the most of land it already owns, develop brand new sites for housing and acquire affordable homes built by others too.

A spokesman for the council said: "With a great quality of life, fantastic transport connections, good schools and vibrant market towns, demand for housing [in the district] remains high.

"The council’s addressing this in lots of different ways, including through support for large and small-scale new developments, bringing more empty homes back into use and through this new ambitious plan to deliver brand new affordable homes too."

The council could deliver some of this in partnership with the Selby District Housing Trust, which manages a range of affordable homes in the area.

Affordable housing will be delivered in the following ways through this new approach:

• the direct development of housing on land already owned by the council, primarily using sites that are already developed but not currently used for housing such as former garage sites and larger plots of land owned by the council

• the possible acquisition and development of brand new housing sites in the district

• through the acquisition of homes built by others which can be managed as affordable properties

• the ability to release council-owned land to ‘self builders’ if the authority’s not in a position to be able to develop it

Selby District Council executive member for housing, leisure, health and culture, Cllr Richard Musgrave, said: "Housing is such an important part of what the council’s doing, because it’s such an important part of people’s lives. This is yet another way in which we’re investing in delivering quality homes that people want and need in our area. It’ll provide more options for families and individuals in an area that’s really growing fast.

"This is a big investment because these are big plans. By March 2020 we aim to have provided over 200 new affordable homes across our district."