Work starts to build new affordable homes in Northumberland

A new multi-million pound housing development to deliver much-needed affordable homes for local people in Hexham is underway.

Two Castles Housing Association, working alongside Esh Property Services as part of the Hadrian Development Solutions Partnership, has started work to build 26 affordable homes for people with a connection to the town or surrounding area.

With more than 4,000 people in Northumberland currently identified as being in housing need, demand for quality affordable homes is greater than ever. The £3.4 million development on Corbridge Road, on the eastern side of Hexham, will be called Anick View and the homes will be made available for rent through the Northumberland Homefinder lettings scheme.

Rob Brittain, property services director at Two Castles Housing Association, said:

“There is a pressing need for affordable homes in towns and villages right across Northumberland. Home ownership is beyond the reach of many people in these rural communities and quality affordable rents in popular market towns, such as Hexham, are vital to helping local people live in or near to their home town or village.

“We’re committed to building sustainable communities and by working with our partners, Two Castles is focused on delivering a mixture of well-designed affordable homes in the communities that need them most.”

Part-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) with an investment of £349,000 and with support from Northumberland County Council, Anick View will comprise of seven two-bedroom houses, six two-bedroom bungalows, nine three-bedroom houses and four one-bedroom flats.

Built using reconstituted stone, render and concrete tiles, the development has been designed to be in keeping with the local area. Each new home will be constructed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 Standards and will include a number of energy-efficient features such as efficient boilers and insulation, as well as photovoltaic roof panels to help residents keep their energy bills affordable.

All of the properties will be available for affordable rent and are due for completion by May 2015.

Graham Morgan, divisional director at Esh Property Services, said:

“This is a great scheme and we’re delighted to be building these important new homes near Hexham, as part of our Hadrian Development Solutions Partnership with Two Castles.

“As part of our work we’re really looking forward to working with the local community too. We’ll be offering up to five jobs to people, including those who have been unemployed for a long time. Depending on performance these jobs have every chance of being made permanent.

“A further five work experience places will be available on site for over-16s. These will be designed according to individuals we take on and the opportunities on site. In September, in addition to the two secondary schools we already work with in Northumberland, we’ll also be contacting schools near Hexham to offer the Building My Skills programme. This too can be delivered according to how the programme will best fit in with the needs of the school selected.

“As well as the 250 homes being built through the Hadrian Development Solutions Partnership, Esh Property Services is involved in a wider HCA programme also to be completed by March 2015. The total numbers of new homes to be delivered through our part in the HCA programme will be 497.”

Councillor Allan Hepple, policy board member responsible for housing at Northumberland County Council, said:

“This scheme is an opportunity to provide much needed affordable housing in the west of the county. The council is committed to providing or supporting the provision of a number of new affordable housing developments right across the county, and our housing team has been pleased to support Two Castles in bringing this scheme forward.”

Anyone interested in renting one of these properties, should register with Northumberland Homefinder by visiting www.northumberlandhomefinder.org.uk

Alternatively, please call Two Castles’ Newcastle office on 0191 261 4774 or for more information visit Two Castles Housing Association, via www.twocastles.org.uk.