Work has started on a £8.3 affordable housing scheme on the site of a former timber yard in Denholme.

Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire has begun to build 72 homes on the Station Sawmill site on Station Road near Doe Park Reservoir, which will be available for affordable rent via Together Housing Group.

The development will comprise 8 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom, 40 three-bedroom and 4 four-bedroom homes in a mix of semi-detached and terraces. In addition to thermal insulation and energy efficient boilers, the properties will benefit from electric car charging points and bat and bird boxes.

The plans include biodiversity improvements to the brownfield site and improvements to the condition of Station Road and its junction with Main Road.

The development is expected to be complete in autumn 2022, subject to Covid restrictions.

The development is possible thanks to funding from Homes England. Together Housing was announced as one of the government housing agency’s strategic partners in January 2019, receiving £53 million to help deliver 1,152 additional new homes by 2025.

According to Zoopla, the average house price in Denholme stands at £399,432, forcing many young individuals, couples and families out of the area they grew up in and away from their support networks.

Hilary Brady, Head of Development for Together Housing, said: “House prices, and subsequently private rents, have soared since the start of the pandemic as the shift to working from home has encouraged people to re-evaluate their living spaces. Demand is particularly high in rural villages such as Denholme.

“The development will provide much-needed affordable housing in the village and will be welcomed by those who are priced out of the booming housing market, allowing them to put their own roots down in the area they call home.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We are very pleased to see this brownfield site transformed into high quality affordable housing.

“Sustainable transport features such as electric vehicle charging points and biodiversity enhancements like bird boxes and trees are recommended by our Homes and Neighbourhoods Design Guide, so it’s brilliant to see these included in the development.

“Bradford needs more good quality affordable and social housing so we welcome this investment and Together Housing to our district.”

Andy Coates, Construction Director for Vistry Partnerships Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to be working on yet another scheme with Together Housing Group, our second land inclusive build contract with them this year alone. We have built a strong partnership with a track-record of delivering quality, family homes in the areas of greatest need.”