Yorkshire village residents ‘leave in the dark’ around 160 empty houses

Most of the houses are vacant after the departure of military personnel when the government decided to close RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

The Department of Defense (MoD) must transfer ownership of the properties to Annington Homes, as most are vacant after the departure of military personnel when the government decided to shut down RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

Kevin Hollinrake, the Tory MP for Thirsk and Malton, is urging the ministry to speed up the process, because he fears the local community and businesses will suffer if homes remain empty for an extended period of time.

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He is particularly concerned about the Linton-on-Ouse Primary School, where the number of students has increased from 120 to 60.

The Department of Defense is due to return 56 homes to Annington Homes, which rents properties across the country, in February. But he did not disclose when the ownership of the other properties will be transferred.

Mr Hollinrake said: “It is frustrating that it is taking so long to happen. We know the base is practically closed, but we cannot restore these properties to useful occupation.

“I think they are going to sell very, very quickly. They are beautiful houses, which are well built. It would be a huge boost for the village.”

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In a letter to Defense Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin, he called on the Defense Ministry to take “imminent action”.

He wrote: “Every time I have raised this issue I have received a non-binding response, which leaves my constituents in Linton-on-Ouse in a state of constant concern.

“The impact of this situation on the local primary school, where enrollment is dangerously low, as well as on the general state of mind of the village is considerable. Although Annington Homes expects the properties to be returned by February, there has been no firm commitment to do so – leaving the village and Annington Homes in the dark.

“In addition, given that there are still 12 tenants living on the properties, which must be vacant to be returned to Annington, there is an urgent need to relocate these residents.”

The Department of Defense and Annington Homes have both been approached for comment.

The government has announced that it will be sold in 2018, along with 90 other sites owned by M0D, to save taxpayers around £ 140million.

The base was used by squadrons conducting raids during World War II, then became a training base in 1957.

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