THE first three homes on a new development in Helmsley have been handed over to their new owners.

Wharfedale Homes began building work in Swanland Park in February, and the first homeowners have been given their keys.

A further 12 properties in phase one of the build will complete over the next few months.

Members of the Helmsley in Business group welcomed the new homeowners by providing hampers full of local produce, free passes to local attractions and vouchers to spend at businesses in the town.

Wharfedale Homes has also agreed to extend a partnership with the Helmsley in Business group for a further two years.

The developer funds the annual printing and distribution of 75,000 brochures to attract visitors to the area, and takes an active role within the group.

Building Swanland Park in three stages, there will eventually be 60 homes on the development, which are designed to blend sympathetically with their surroundings, whilst offering modern internal living space. Phases two and three of the development will include six two-bedroom properties for sale at a discounted price to local people and there will also be one and two-bedroom properties available to rent to the local community.

Wharfedale Homes director Chris Patmore said: “Swanland Park is the result of eight years of planning and careful design. I’m now extremely happy to see the first homes come to life. I’m even more excited to welcome our first new homeowner while stood alongside the local residents and Helmsley in Business members who have kindly provided gifts to invite these new people into their wonderful community.”

Caroline Frank, member of Helmsley in Business and co-owner of Libby Butler Jewellers, said: “It’s wonderful to be meeting the first new members to our community, and we were keen to show them a warm Helmsley welcome. Thank you to all the very generous local businesses who provided so many wonderful things to help them get to know the town better. The new properties look fantastic, and we’re sure the purchasers are going to enjoy living in Britain’s Best Market Town.

“We’d also like to thank Wharfedale Homes for its sponsorship of our leaflet for the next two years – it makes a huge difference to have their support not just financially but with their great community involvement too. Helmsley is growing both in terms of more homes and residents and more visitors each year and Helmsley in Business wants to see the town flourish in the future for all. By managing the local economy and working in partnership with local authorities and Wharfedale Homes we hope to find a happy balance for residents, businesses and visitors.”