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More than 500 affordable homes are to be build in the Derbyshire Dales to help those struggling to buy a house

More than 500 affordable homes will be built in the Derbyshire Dales in the next three years.

Derbyshire Dales District Council has secured the cut-price homes through agreements with private developers and housing associations.

Over 500 affordable homes will be built

Over 500 affordable homes will be built

Last year, a total of 76 affordable houses were built in Ashbourne, Matlock, and Wirksworth, among other sites.

A further 110 are set to be completed this year, and another 437 are in the pipeline to be built by 2021.

The district council has collected £3.1 million for affordable homes during the current financial year, with this money largely gathered from housing developers – it is one of the council’s key priorities.

Local authorities will typically ask that developers looking to build more than 10-15 houses have 30 per cent affordable housing, or cough up hundreds of thousands of pounds so that they can be built elsewhere.

This is often deemed “unviable” by housing developers and whittled down in favour of contributing money for road or school improvements.

When developers are given permission for large housing schemes, councils can require them to sell some at 80 per cent of market value, or rent them out at 80 per cent of market rates.

Councils then assess which local people are eligible to buy or rent the properties.

Eligibility is determined with regard to average incomes and market house prices in the area. You are only eligible if your needs cannot be met by the market, so not everyone can apply for affordable housing.

A report for the district council’s community and environment committee states: “There has been a rapid acceleration of private developer-led sites in the Derbyshire Dales where the council has successfully negotiated the provision of on-site affordable homes.

“Some of these sites also provide an off-site financial contribution in the form of payments to the council which are then used to support our wider housing- enabling activity.”

The largest contributions for affordable housing came in Derby Road, Wirksworth last year, with 33 houses. This year, the highest is 50 homes on the golf club site in Matlock.

Pre-application conversations for homes in Bakewell Road, Darley Dale could see 66 affordable homes built within the next three years – the highest number planned for the district to date.

In April 2015 there were just 88 affordable homes which had outline or detailed planning permission from the council, this had increased to 373 by June 2017.

Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service