WORK has started on a £2.2 million affordable housing scheme in Athersley.

Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association (LYHA) has started work on its Newstead Road development, which it hopes will be completed by March 2015.

A total of 27 properties will be available for rent on the former leisure centre site.

LYHA worked in partnership with Barnsley Council on the acquisition of the land having become one of the council’s preferred development partners in 2012.

The development will consist of 21 two-bed houses and six three-bedroom homes.

Lisa Pickard, LYHA's chief executive, said: "We are delighted to be bringing these homes to Athersley.

"These properties are much-needed in the local area and will benefit from being both economical to run and having a low environmental impact."