Start of work at Howard Close

Work starts on 12 affordable bungalows in Bishop Auckland

Construction of a dozen new wheelchair adaptable bungalows has started in the Woodhouse Close area of Bishop Auckland as part of a £54m programme.

The new two-bedroom homes are being built on vacant land in Howard Close by County Durham Housing Group as part of a major scheme that will deliver 545 new affordable homes across the region.

Construction on the site at Howard Close is being carried out by Durham based Esh Group.

The bungalows are being built from the outset with features that make them well-suited to the needs of wheelchair users. They will include purpose-built wet rooms, level access throughout and extra wide doorways.

The project is a direct result of high demand for bungalows in the Bishop Auckland area. All 12 will be offered for affordable rent by County Durham Housing Group when complete. The first tenants are expected to move into their new homes during summer 2019.

County Durham Housing Group Development Manager, Tom Winter, said: “Our new-build programme is all about meeting the strong demand we know exists for affordable homes in County Durham.

“These bungalows will fit seamlessly into an existing estate on a relatively compact site and provide invaluable new homes for Bishop Auckland. A dozen homes may not seem like many, but they will mean 12 families can stay in an area they know, with homes ideally suited to their needs.”

Work on County Durham Housing Group’s £54m affordable housing plan began during 2017 and will continue into 2021. The high-specification properties are helping to meet demand for affordable homes in communities stretching from rural Weardale to the Durham coast.

Mark Binns, Construction Director at Esh Construction Property Services, commented: “We are very proud to be working on this high-quality and modern development, which will breathe new life into the local community — not to mention building strong and sustainable communities themselves. We look forward to seeing the first families move in to the properties next May and are excited to hear their views as they begin to lay down roots.”

County Durham Housing Group is one of the largest housing associations in the north east. The group has already completed new homes in communities including Pity Me, St Helen Auckland and Rookhope. Work on 40 homes in Crook is also approaching completion.

Ambitious proposals for larger redevelopments in the Woodhouse Close area are also being worked on by the group. Public consultation events took place earlier this year to help guide future planning applications.

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