A ONCE-desolate Holmfirth housing estate has welcomed its first residents – almost three years after it was built.
The new-build Bramble Bank estate, off New Mill Road, has been lying empty after a legal wrangle over a public right of way between the developers, Younger Homes and Kirklees Council, resulted in stalemate.
Some of the brand new properties had been boarded up and one had suffered some vandalism while attempts to end the stand-off were being thrashed out.
But after several years of lying dormant some of the houses now appear to finally be occupied.
Jackie Crabtree, lettings manager at the Holmfirth branch of Simon Blyth estate agents, confirmed they had placed new tenants in the estate and said they had three of the new houses on offer – and that there were more in the pipeline.
She said: “The owners (Younger Homes) contacted us to see if we could find good quality local people to rent them in the short to medium term. There is quite a shortage of good quality modern houses for young people.
“It will be good to make a community down at Bramble Bank instead of leaving them empty.”
Bill Ibberson, of Younger Homes, said the estate was in a great location with good schools and said he was hopeful that positive decisions would help them move some of the houses.
Mr Ibberson also said the houses had always been for sale, contrary to reports that Kirklees Council had barred them for opening the site to the public. “If people come along we’ll be pleased to have them,” he added.
But a Kirklees Council spokeswoman would neither confirm or deny that the row had been settled and would not comment on the news that some of the vacant homes had recently become occupied.
Jacqui Gedman, assistant director of environment and transport said: “The council is waiting for the developer to complete the works on the slope near the bridleway before it can deal with other issues.”
Younger Homes built the 40 home estate in 2005 but were prevented from launching it to the public until they had diverted and repaired a public bridleway that previously ran through the grounds of the development.
The bridleway surface has since been reinstated and is now open.