LEGAL “complexities” have held up residents moving into their new homes in Pickering - leaving some “living out of a suitcase” for more than a year.

This month, the Methodist Housing Association (MHA) said that the affordable homes at the Mickle Hill village have been transferred to them from the developers and they can begin to finalise tenancy agreements.

Mickle Hill was given planning permission in 2013 and was constructed in a number of phases. As part of the planning permission, 24 of the flats and bungalows were required - under the Section 106 agreement with Ryedale District Council - to be either for social housing rent or for shared ownership.

One resident who has been waiting is Natalie Warriner, who said she was allocated a bungalow following a three-part assessment in March last year.

She said herself and other assessed residents have been living “half-packed” since then with no information aside from being told the matter was “with legal”.

A spokesman for MHA said: “We do understand the frustration from the people wanting to move into Mickle Hill village in to what is termed the Section 106 properties, as these do appear to be ready to move in to.

“The 12 apartments in phase one of the development are all occupied or reserved. We have been awaiting the completion of the transfer of the 12 bungalows in phase two and are delighted to say that was finalised on May 3.

“There had been, sadly, various complexities that delayed the legal process of transferring the ownership of the properties from [developers] Rangeford to MHA.

“Now the transfer has been completed, MHA can finalise the tenancy agreements with Ryedale Council and will now be able to start assessing people’s needs to make sure Mickle Hill is suitable for them.”

A Ryedale District Council spokesman said: “We are working closely with Methodist Homes on finalising the tenancy and leasehold agreements, to ensure we protect the interests, as far as we can, of the tenants and purchasers of these properties,” they said.

“The council has worked in partnership with Methodist Homes and welcomes the development of the 24 affordable homes on the site.”