PLANS to build nearly 250 new ‘affordable’ homes in East Lancashire under a new multi-million-pound scheme have been welcomed by MPs.

Under the new deal, which has been announced by housing minister Kris Hopkins, 246 homes will be constructed in the region over the next few years.

Clitheroe will get 89, Darwen 50, Whalley 28, and Blackburn 23. A further 20 will be built in Accrington, 15 in Ribchester, 12 in Longridge and nine in Great Harwood.

A total of 13 housing associations across the country are set to receive a share of £208million in loans, to help deliver 4,800 new affordable homes nationwide.

The agreement forms part of the Affordable Housing Guarantees Scheme, delivered by Affordable Housing Finance, part of the Housing Finance Corporation.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans said: “I think it’s important in any housing development that thought is given to young people who can’t afford the high house process in the Ribble Valley. I’m pleased these plans have been announced but I hope that preference is given to people who have links with the area.

“It’s good that people won’t be forced to leave the Ribble Valley because they can’t find a home they can afford.”

Jake Berry, MP for Darwen and Rossendale, said: “I think it’s great news for young families working hard to get on. These plans will give people the chance to get the home that they want for their families.”

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “I welcome this. It’s not a big scheme but every bit helps.”

Graham Jones, MP for Hyndburn, added: “We need more affordable housing in the borough. It is an important priority for the Labour Party. It is important we have more for the people who need to get on the housing ladder.”