Work starts on new housing estate as part of £16m plan

Ian Prescott, Councillor Carl Marshall, Seaham Town Councillor Leanne Kennedy and Seaham and Durham County Councillor and County Durham Housing Group board member, Kevin Shaw, site manager Steve Cheal, from Arrowbuild, and Ian Heginbottom, land and partnerships manager for Keepmoat Homes North East.
Ian Prescott, Councillor Carl Marshall, Seaham Town Councillor Leanne Kennedy and Seaham and Durham County Councillor and County Durham Housing Group board member, Kevin Shaw, site manager Steve Cheal, from Arrowbuild, and Ian Heginbottom, land and partnerships manager for Keepmoat Homes North East.

Construction work has started on a development which will see 116 new houses to Seaham.

The £16 million scheme at Heathway in Parkside will see two, three and four-bedroomed homes built, with 108 of the properties to be put up for sale.

Of those, three will be offered at 30% below market value for local people who qualify and eight will be put up for rent at an affordable rate.

The estate is one of eight current and proposed projects which are worth a total of £97 million investment in 695 new homes across the county.

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

Chairman of DVRC, Councillor 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 Parkside Primary 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 56 new houses in Dipton and 84 in Peterlee.

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 service