Darlington residents move into £8m 'affordable' living houses on historic railway site
Residents have begun to move into their new homes on an £8m housing development, dubbed affordable and close to the historic 1825 Darlington to Stockton Railway line.
In its biggest development in recent history, Railway Housing Association - in partnership with its contractor Tolent Living - is building 73-homes at Haughton Road in Darlington, opposite Darlington College.
This includes the conversion of a listed engine shed built in 1844 which has been transformed into seven new two-storey homes. The whole scheme consists of two and three-bedroom houses, two-bedroom bungalows and one-bedroom apartments.
New residents include former railwayman, Arthur Denham. The 83-year-old used to pay 1p a week from his wages into the North Eastern Cottage Homes and Benefit Fund, set up after the First World War to help pay for homes for railwaymen and their families.
Arthur, who has moved into a bungalow with his partner Jean, said: “I spent most of my working life working on the railways in and around Darlington so it’s fantastic that I am now living in a home directly opposite the old Darlington to Stockton Railway line.
“It’s also nice to know that in a round about way, the donations I made when I was working have helped to build lovely homes like this.”
Also settling in are architects Weronika and Hakam Kharsa and their twin girls, Jasmine and Sadeel. They said: “As architects, we can see and appreciate the work which has gone into designing these homes and making sure they reflect the railway heritage.
“We couldn’t be happier with our new home.”
Allan Thompson, Tolent Living’s regional director, has said that the scheme was challenging, especially due to ground conditions and its proximity to the railway line, however it was “an exciting” project nevertheless.
He concluded: “However the end product is a testament to all the passion and hard work of all those involved in this project.
“This is a flagship development for us and our client Railway Housing Association and we are proud to have helped deliver this transformational and much needed new affordable housing development.”