Seaham homes part of £97M investment

The start of work on a Durham seaside town housing development is the latest of eight current and proposed projects representing a £97 million investment in 695 new homes across the county.

The site, at Heathway, will provide 116 two, three and four bedroomed houses in the Parkside area. There will be 108 properties for sale – three at 30% below market value for local people who qualify – and eight for affordable rent.

The £16 million initiative is being delivered by the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC), a joint venture between the county council and Keepmoat Homes.

Said the chair of DVRC, Cllr. Carl Marshall: “This is the partnership’s first development in Seaham and it demonstrates our commitment to delivering a range of housing schemes with a focus on regenerating local communities. As well as 116 new homes it will provide further investment and jobs throughout the construction period.”

Ian Prescott, Land and Partnerships Director, Keepmoat Homes North East, added: “In total DVRC identified eight potential sites for development across County Durham. This is the fourth on which work is now underway, providing a new impetus for the partnership, whilst helping to address the UK’s well documented housing shortage and providing opportunities for first time buyers.”

The Heathway initiative is on a former school site owned by Durham County Council and a small parcel of land previously owned by County Durham Housing Group. The housing group will take on the management of the eight homes for rent and plans a further 48 affordable homes on an adjoining site that will provide a mix of both two and three bed bungalows and three bed family homes

County Durham Housing Group Chief Executive, Bill Fullen, said: “This innovative and complex project has brought together skills from the public, private and not for profit sectors. It’s really pleasing to have shovels in the ground and bricks being laid on this scheme. In early 2018 we’ll also be starting work on our adjoining site to deliver further affordable homes. We know that affordable homes in Seaham will be in high demand and can’t wait to see the first families moving in.”

With developments at Middlestone Moor, Newton Aycliffe and Sherburn Hill – comprising 302 homes – already well underway, DVRC recently secured planning permission for building at Dipton (56 homes) and Peterlee (84). An application has also been lodged for 78 homes at Chester-le-Street and 59 more are planned on an as yet unnamed site.

Since formation in 2001 DVRC has invested more than £150 million, creating over 1,300 homes – around a quarter of which are for shared ownership or affordable rent. A unique profit sharing agreement has also provided funds in support of local authority initiatives and services.

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