A DESIGN inspired by both loft-style living and traditional Yorkshire farmsteads has won a competition to design new homes on a council owned site in Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

London-based McMullan Studios and its ‘Flexstead’ design was the winner in the competition aimed at providing affordable homes to encourage young people and families to move to, and stay, in the Dales.

The popular competition was run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Great Place: Lakes and Dales, a programme funded by Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund to encourage more under 35s to live and work in both the Dales and in the Lakes, where the average age of the population is much higher than the national average.

Judges, including designer Wayne Hemingway, as well as council officers, and landowners, were impressed with the way the design appealed to younger people, its use for both living and working, and its affordability.

Richard Dowson, consultant with GPLD, said they were delighted with the response to the contest, which attracted about 110 entries from across the world.

“We asked for cutting edge designs for flexible, affordable housing which would appeal to the under 35s and that is exactly what we got. It was about housing that will appeal to returners and young people already living in the area,” he said.

“Our winners both gave really impressive presentations, explaining their ideas with passion and understanding of the issues faced. The standard of entries was exceptional. It was very tough to choose our shortlist of three, and from there to pick our winners.”

David Smurthwaite, strategic manager of Craven District Council and chairman of GPLD, said: “This competition aimed to see how architects, when given the time and space, can address the issue of providing housing for young people that is exciting, flexible and carbon efficient. We are very pleased that two young practices have won with designs that meet the aspiration of the Great Place programme and fit with their particular sensitive locations.”

The around quarter of an acre site, off Ribblesdale Road, and owned by Craven District Council, will now be subject to further consultation and will require planning permission.

The judges also took into account feedback from the public via the RIBA website and from locally-held exhibitions. Consultations with planning officers and authorities as well as feedback from GPLD’s 'Creative Champions' was also considered.