Families priced out of Norfolk’s ‘Prosecco Ghetto’ could soon be helped into housing, under a scheme which will see new homes bought for locals.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has agreed to loan £110,000 to a social housing provider in Wells-next-the-Sea which was set up to help townspeople who struggle to find properties in the area, a second home hotspot.

The money will be used to purchase two new houses – on Northfield and Gales Road –  which will be rented at below market rate by people who have a connection to Wells

About 40pc of the properties in Wells are second homes or holiday lets, with many locals priced out of the area. 

While the town is busy on summer weekends and during holidays, when tourists leave the town can be left empty, leading some to brand it the “Prosecco Ghetto”. 

Alongside the loan, NNDC will provide the housing association, Homes for Wells, with a £50,000 grant to help with the purchase. 

The homes will be bought from Flagship, another social housing provider, which is replacing its stock. 

Addressing her cabinet colleagues at a meeting on Thursday, Wendy Fredericks, member for housing, said: “This is one of our fantastic local housing associations that buy homes for people in Wells. 

Eastern Daily Press: Wendy FredericksWendy Fredericks (Image: NNDC)

“This is to enable them to buy two further homes for those residents, living and working in Wells, that are on their waiting list.” 

The loan and grant saw unanimous support from the cabinet, with Tim Adams, the leader of the council, describing Homes for Wells as a “fantastic organisation” that he wished could be copied around the district. 

Eastern Daily Press: Tim Adams, the Lib Dem leader of North Norfolk District CouncilTim Adams, the Lib Dem leader of North Norfolk District Council (Image: Supplied by the Liberal Democrats)

A report to the cabinet said: “Across the district there is a shortage of affordable housing for people who cannot afford to rent or buy a home in the market.  

“The situation in Wells is made worse by the shortage of homes for rent and very high house prices relative to local wages.”