Hopes new affordable homes in Blakeney will go to villagers as topping out ceremony held

Topping out ceremony of new affordable homes in Blakeney. Left, Victory chief executive John Archibald and Blakeney Parish Council chairman Tony Faulkner. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Topping out ceremony of new affordable homes in Blakeney. Left, Victory chief executive John Archibald and Blakeney Parish Council chairman Tony Faulkner. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Lucy Clapham lucy.clapham@archant.co.uk
Saturday, January 18, 2014
8:43 AM

A pint of ale was poured over the roof of a newly-built house in Blakeney to mark the completion of a significant scheme to provide much needed affordable properties in the village.

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The traditional topping-out ceremony for the 12 new homes was conducted yesterday by John Archibald, chief executive of the Victory Housing Trust, which has invested £863,000 in the scheme and is taking on the properties as landlord.

And although the construction of the six flats, two bungalows and four homes in Langham Road has been welcomed by local leaders, there are concerns not all of them will go to villagers currently on the housing waiting list.

Tony Faulkner, chairman of Blakeney Parish Council – which has long been pressing for more affordable housing in the village – said: “On the good side, if they go to young families that will help to support the school and, of course, having a bit of extra housing will help because it supports the businesses in the village, particularly in the winter.

“But the biggest benefit would be if they were let to local youngsters, which will allow them to stay in this area where they can work.”

Mr Archibald explained that the development, which also includes 12 homes for private sale, was not an “exception” scheme so the affordable properties could not be ring-fenced for local people, and it would be down to North Norfolk District Council to allocate them.

He said Victory was delighted to be topping out the new homes, which were needed in the village. He added: “The entire cost of these new homes has been met by Victory, as part of 
our commitment to invest in as many new affordable homes in the north of Norfolk as we can.”

Residents are set to move in in the spring.

Blakeney Parish Council and Wells Town Council are due to meet Mr Archibald later this month to discuss issues surrounding affordable housing.

Are there issues with housing in your community? Email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk giving your name and address.

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