The property boom has pushed house prices out of the reach of locals in many areas of the country. This is a particular problem in rural areas where traditionally incomes are low and public transport options are limited. Northumberland Estates is committed to the provision of affordable housing and has worked with local social housing providers on a number of projects aimed at tackling the shortage of affordable homes throughout Northumberland, not just for families but also for the elderly. This requires the land to be provided at a lower than market value to the housing association for development. Recent schemes at Longhoughton, Alnmouth and  Lesbury have all proved popular and new proposals include schemes at Alnwick, Rennington, Ovingham, Warkworth and Beadnell.

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Case Study

Lint Gardens

When Northumberland Estates purchased Alnmouth Boys Club in 2008 the initial idea was to create holiday apartments in this seaside town. The Parish Council objected to the loss of a community  facility and more holiday homes, claiming that if development was to proceed what the village  needed was affordable housing and private family homes for local people. Liaising with the Parish  Council, a plan was eventually conceived which met these needs. It required development on two  sites, that of the former Boys Club and that of the local allotments.

At the time only two of the 12 allotments were being actively used and the plots were very large, overgrown and difficult to work, making them hard to let. Thanks to a degree of compromise on  both sides and close partnership working a solution was found.

The resulting scheme proposed 16 private and seven affordable houses, plus 12 new and improved allotment plots on a much improved site. With the support of Alnmouth Parish Council, planning was approved and local developer Sturton Grange Developments purchased the sites from  Northumberland Estates, with not-for-profit housing provider Four Housing taking on the affordable housing element. Officially opened by the Duchess of Northumberland in March 2015, all seven of  the affordable homes had been swiftly let to tenants with a local connection to the area.