Rory rates Crosby Ravensworth’s Affordable Housing
Rory paid his latest visit to the local affordable housing site at Crosby Ravensworth in mid-March and called it “an inspiration and model for Cumbria”. The new development provides 12 affordable homes in the centre of the village of Crosby Ravensworth, built around a ‘village green’ modelled on Dufton, and carefully designed to fit in with vernacular architecture – as well as being cheap to build.
The MP, who has been closely involved with the project over the last 2 years as the leader of the Eden Big Society Vanguard project, saw the site with Lyvennet Community Trust (LCT) trustees David Graham and Doug Henderson, Penrith-based Atkinson Homes site supervisor Lewis Austwick, and architect Ian Smart of Kirkby Stephen-based ipsarchitects. They looked at the homes that are under construction and discussed their design.
The site includes 12 affordable homes – 10 rented and 2 shared ownership – and the Trust are currently reviewing applicants against the Local Occupancy criteria. It is expected that the houses will be ready for occupation in late May/early June. The project, which has helped shape national housing grant policy and has been a positive symbol for community land trusts across Britain, has been a remarkable community achievement, and is pioneering ways of designing affordable housing in a way that complements local vernacular architecture in a cost-effective way.
Rory said: “It’s enormously exciting to see this housing project finally coming to completion after so much hard work by the LCT, and to see us pioneering rural affordable housing that can be built in a way that complements the local landscape and village design. Using local builders, suppliers and materials – such as limestone and sandstone – and with a little imagination and flexibility, the builders have managed to create a scheme that is a wonderful addition to the village, proving that housing can remain affordable and look beautiful, too. Once again we are leading the way in national policy, and raising the profile of community land trusts in a practical and accessible way. I want to see much more of this sort of development in Penrith and the Border, and strongly encourage other communities to come and see what is being done here.”
The site also includes a further 8 self-build plots, with sales being handled by Penrith Farmer and Kidds. There is an open day on 25th March between 1200 and 1600hrs.
Photo: Rory Stewart MP with LCT Trustees David Graham and Doug Henderson and Atkinson Homes Site Supervisor Lewis Austwick