Hope for Fortey House at last?

A Northleach building which has been empty for years may at last be full of residents.

Paul Hodgkinson (left) with Neil Fletcher outside Fortey House in Northleach.

Paul Hodgkinson (left) with Neil Fletcher outside Fortey House in Northleach.

Fortey House saw the last of its housing association tenants leave in April 2010 and has since lain empty. The 12-bedroom building is owned by Bromford.

The town council has discussed a possible plan for The Farmington Trust to link up with other individuals to buy Fortey House from Bromford and convert it into affordable housing for local people.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Cotswold District Council, is supporting the proposal, “Across the Cotswolds there is a huge gap between wages and house prices. A recent survey by the National Housing Federation showed that this area is the most expensive in the South West. The average house price is a staggering 20 times more than the average salary.”

“So, making sure empty homes are used for low cost accommodation for young and old in particular is really important. This is a prime example.”

Neil Fletcher, Chair of Northleach Town Council is also supporting the scheme: “The housing association wanted to knock it down and build affordable homes but there was no government grant and it dropped the idea. As a town council, we can’t afford to buy it, but the Trust could and then rent it out. We would support the development and put it on our town plan.”

Cllr Hodgkinson added, “It’s sad to see a building lying empty when there is such a crying need for housing. I really hope this idea takes off and we get some much-needed low cost housing in the town.”

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