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Across the North East’s rural communities, key services and businesses are disappearing as people are priced out of housing in their local community.

New analysis reveals that 10 schools, 1,491 post offices and 260 pubs have closed down in the North and North East over the last five years, according to the National Housing Federation.1

While businesses have been closing, house prices are now hugely inflated and become out of reach for local families. A worker on average earnings in Northumberland needs a 71% pay rise to be able to afford a mortgage.2

But Karbon is delivering a lifeline to one local community for residents otherwise priced out of an area they’ve known all their lives.

Work is progressing on the development of 12 affordable homes in Newbrough, near Hexham.

Karbon is leading on the development alongside main contractor Partner Construction from Spennymoor, County Durham.

The £1.7m development was funded by Karbon Homes with a significant contribution from the estate of local businessman Jack Charlton.

Mr Charlton was known for his dedication to the villages of Newbrough and Fourstones, serving as a local councillor for many years. He died in 2005 at the age of 94.

In addition to the new homes in Newbrough, Karbon is currently close to completion of 22 family homes in the village of Ovingham in Tynedale.

The £3m Cherryburn Lane development contains a mix of family homes and bungalows available for affordable rent and shared ownership.

Karbon has also recently completed work on a £1 development of eight homes in Bellingham, and is just starting work on a £1.2m project to build 10 bungalows in Amble, and a further four affordable homes in Acomb.

The new homes in Newbrough, Ovingham, Bellingham, Amble and Acomb together represent an investment of over £7m and form part of Karbon’s regionwide development programme.

Vince Walsh, development and regeneration manager for Karbon Homes, said: “We know the demand for affordable housing is particularly high in rural areas. We often find that people have to leave areas where they were brought up and have family ties, or where they work because the cost of housing is just too high.

“So it’s vital that we provide affordable housing that helps these rural communities survive and thrive.”

Ahead of Rural Housing Week, many housing associations across England have been signing up to the 5-star plan for rural housing, developed by the National Housing Federation with housing associations. The plan challenges the sector to increase delivery of rural housing and continue contributing positively to a thriving countryside.

Karbon Homes is supporting the National Housing Federation as it promotes Rural Housing Week. The federation is drawing attention to the importance of affordable homes in rural areas, not only to ensure local families can remain in their home area, but also to ensure the survival of the rural economy, helping shops and services to remain viable.

Monica Burns, External Affairs Manager for rural housing at the National Housing Federation, said:

“Today’s findings show that far too few homes are being built for local people and villages are dying as a result. Young people are moving to cities and often house prices are rocketing. Right across rural England, schools are shutting their doors to pupils. Post offices, which provide vital community services, are closing at a similar rate and countless pubs are serving their last ever orders to locals.

“It’s therefore very welcome news that housing associations like Karbon Homes are stemming this tide in the North East by building the new homes local people desperately need.”

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