Lancashire County Council has approved proposals by one of the Queen's property and land estates for a new affordable housing scheme on two small sites in the village of Dunsop Bridge, Ribble Valley.
Work is now expected to begin on site in the middle of next month, with a scheduled completion of the first phase by the end of October 2011.
Plans were approved in March subject to a Section 106 agreement being settled. A project team has liaised closely with the local authority to finalise the relevant details.
A formal application was submitted in September 2010 following a public exhibition and open meeting chaired by Lancashire County Council last summer.
Paul Clarke, trustee and Duchy chief executive officer, said: "This is excellent news and a clear demonstration of the local authority's commitment to supporting rural communities. Dunsop Bridge is a picturesque village in the geographic heart of the country – but it has suffered from a lack of suitable housing for local people, many of whom have been forced to move away. We hope to help local people of all ages who wish to stay in the village by providing high quality, affordable homes which will cater for their needs throughout their lifetime. We will work closely with Ribble Valley Homes to try to prioritise local applications and provide the community with a strong sense of ownership."
The new homes will each deliver six new affordable homes on sites close to the village school, hall and local shopping facilities.
The Duchy identified the two sites in consultation with the local community in 2008.
The three-bedroom family homes will be built to level 3 of the Government's Code for Sustainable Homes and the national Lifetime Homes Standard, which many planning policies now require, with sufficient accommodation for up to five people.
In addition, each will have its own private garden, with hedgerows along the front and rear boundaries.
Once completed, the new homes will be managed by registered social landlord, Ribble Valley Homes, in partnership with the Duke of Lancaster Housing Trust, an entity which is specifically designed to help local people wishing to stay and build their future in rural communities such as Dunsop Bridge.