AFFORDABLE homes for people in Corbridge are on the cards, thanks to its parish council.

Members of the council held a supplementary meeting this week to discuss the possibility of purchasing four homes on the Milkwell Lane development, behind Corbridge Middle School.

The properties would be rented at low rates by people living in the area but would not be available on the “right to buy” scheme. This would mean the homes would always remain with the parish council for the benefit of people living in the village.

At the beginning of this year, a planning application was lodged for 185 new homes on ground off Milkwell Lane, with a new entrance along Cow Lane proposed.

Corbridge Parish Council is in discussion with a housing developer to buy the four properties.

Currently, negotiations are ongoing for three two-bedroomed houses and a two-bedroomed bungalow. The houses will be suitable for young people with small families or looking to start a family, with the bungalow more suited for older people living in the village.

The properties would be purchased partly through money secured from central government by Northumberland County Council in addition to a loan from the county council and a contribution from Corbridge Parish Council.

Chairing the meeting, Northumberland County Councillor for Corbridge, Nick Oliver, said: “We have spoken to affordable housing assessment managers, and they are confident any community housing could be established very easily.

“One of the main priorities of this scheme is for people who have grown up here to have the opportunity to stay and raise their own family in Corbridge. It’s outside of the right to buy so the properties stay with the community and, once the debt has been repaid, the rent money will go back into the community to fund further projects in Corbridge.”

Should the scheme go ahead, it will be the first of its kind in the country, according to Coun. Oliver.

He claimed that, while Broomley and Stocksfield Parish Council played a big role in a similar scheme within Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm, this development would be the first instigated solely by a parish council.