Community / North Yell Development Council keen to provide social housing

A DEVELOPMENT company in Yell is looking at providing its own social housing with the aim of helping the community to grow.

North Yell Development Council (NYDC) is on the lookout for property or land in the area which may be suitable for development.

Development manager Alice Mathewson said there is demand for accommodation in North Yell – especially from businesses.

A key aim is to bring more families into North Yell to address the ageing population and increase school numbers.

“We have set up a housing sub-group consisting of members of our board and others from within the community with an interest in housing,” Mathewson said.

“Our aim is to be able to provide housing in North Yell in order to stem depopulation, and also to help rebalance the ageing nature of our community, improve the supply of workers for local businesses and address our falling school roll.”

The development council has regular income from its five turbine community wind farm. Photo: Shetland News

She said local housing agencies claim there is no demand for properties in Yell, but “this is not the case”.

“Therefore, we are looking to take this forward locally, which is in line with the NYDC motto of Enterprise, Initiative and Self-Help, in order to help our community grow and develop,” Mathewson said.

The forward-looking development council has regular income from its five turbine community wind farm, but it would look into other funding avenues.

A recent study by Orkney-based consultants Aquaterra found that community-owned wind farms provide benefit payments that are on average 34 times higher than the industry standard for privately owned developments.

NYDC also supports the push for a tunnel to Yell, which is viewed as a long-term solution for improving the sustainability of the island.

Anyone with property or land suitable for development can contact NYDC on office@northyell.co.uk

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