Kendal group urges new council to transfer land for affordable housing

Kendal Community Land Trust is urging the new Westmorland and Furness Council to transfer them vacant land to create affordable rented housing.

The authority says it is considering the request but there may be other needs for the space.

Beki Winter, from Kendal Community Land Trust, says 16 affordable homes could be built.

She said: "I had a look the other day, there was one three-bed for £1500 a month, which is just not affordable to most people.

"So if we can provide a three bed house for £800, then it's something that we just don't have at the moment. And people are crying out for that.

"At the moment, it's very difficult to find market rate rental accommodation in Kendal. We're struggling as a town to find people to work in the retail industry, in the hospitality industry.

"I know lots of young people who are looking for places and still staying with mum and dad or having to leave Kendal because there isn't anywhere here.

"I know I have friends that are my age who are in rental accommodation and need bigger places because they're in two beds with two kids and it's just not available. So the need is huge and getting worse."

The group has previously asked for the land to be transferred to them. Credit: ITV Border

Two years ago, Cumbria County Council told the group it would not give them the land for free.

After local government reorganisation, the patch is now owned by the new Westmorland and Furness Council, so they are asking again.

The leader of the authority, Mark Brook, says it will consider the request.

He said: "Affordable housing for local people is a huge issue locally, and we're very much aware of that. We would probably not be able to respond on day one, but it's very much in line with our aspiration.

"We will be doing a review of all our assets and that includes land as well as buildings as we look to see how we can best make use of the assets that we have."