Proposed affordable housing plan could help families local to north Norfolk

There are plans to build affordable housing in Trimingham on the north Norfolk coast. Colin Finch

There are plans to build affordable housing in Trimingham on the north Norfolk coast. Colin Finch - Credit: Archant © 2004

It is a beautiful part of Norfolk which has drawn residents from across the country.

But the popularity of the north Norfolk coast has meant many families with long-standing local connections have been priced out of the property market.

Now, two sessions have been organised to look at launching a community-led housing scheme in Trimingham and nearby coastal parishes, which could lead to new affordable homes being built.

Trimingham Parish Council is hosting two events for residents to find out about the plans, as well as affordable housing and how it is occupied.

Terry Brown, parish council chairman, said the scheme could see 12 or 15 new homes built for the use of families with strong connections to Trimingham and the neighbouring parishes of Gimingham, Sidestrand and Southrepps.

He said: 'A lot of families are moving out because they can't afford to buy, so there is a need for the community to pay back, if you like, so that these families can live where they were born.'

MORE: 'Keeping young people in North Norfolk is a challenge' - What's being done to tackle North Norfolk's affordable housing crisis?Mr Brown said there were a couple of different ways the homes could be built, including through a housing association or a trust set up by the village.

He said there was 'no possibility' of houses built under the scheme becoming second homes, which was a common concern in the area.

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The sessions are running at the Pilgrim Shelter today (Thursday, November 2) from 4.30pm to 8pm and on Saturday, November 4 from 9am to midday.

Parish councillors and North Norfolk District Council staff will be on hand to provide more detailed information, and visitors will also be able to give their views on the plans.

Mr Brown said: 'What we're doing at the moment is purely a consultation - if the parishioners don't want it, it wouldn't happen.'

The scheme could be paid for by a Community Housing Fund, which has been set up specifically for communities affected by high proportions of second and/or holiday homes. In 2016/17 the district council received £2.4 million from the fund.

House prices in parts of north Norfolk have risen by as much as 50pc over the last 10 years, while wages have remained stagnant.

There are already nearly 6,000 affordable homes in north Norfolk, but there is a desperate need for more to be built.

Councillor Richard Price, North Norfolk's portfolio holder for housing, said: 'We have a dedicated team working with parishes, particularly those affected by significant numbers of second and holiday homes, to use the Community Housing Fund to help communities create affordable housing for local people.

'Affordable housing is a hot topic for many people, particularly in rural communities, and we are pleased to be working with Trimingham Parish Council in this consultation.

'These sessions will give people the chance to find out more about community-led housing and make suggestions on what other benefits the scheme might provide.

'This is all about allowing the community to help shape the future of the village.'

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