New Seaham homes welcomed

Planning permission has been granted for the construction of 116 new homes in the Parkside area of Seaham.

The proposals did not attract a single objection and have received the backing of local ward councillor – and portfolio holder for strategic housing and assets with Durham County Council – Kevin Shaw.

He said: “I am delighted that this development has been approved and together with the local community, very much look forward to the delivery of much needed new homes.”

The development, in Heathway, is being delivered by the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC), working in partnership with County Durham Housing Group.  DVRC is a joint venture initiative between Durham County Council and Keepmoat Homes which has a successful 15-year track record of building new homes for sale and rent on council owned land.

To date it has invested more than £150 million to create over 1,300 homes – around a quarter of which are for shared ownership or affordable rent.  A unique profit sharing agreement has also raised many millions for local authority initiatives and services.

The Heathway initiative will be constructed on a formerly underused site owned by Durham County Council and a small parcel of land owned by County Durham Housing Group. It will provide 105 two, three and four bedroomed homes for market value sale with three more discounted by 30% for qualifying local buyers.

A further eight homes will be available for affordable rent with County Durham Housing Group, which will complement the group’s plans for 48 further homes on an adjoining site.

The Heathway initiative represents an investment by DVRC of around £16 million and it is hoped that all the legal transfers can be completed in time to allow a start on site in the autumn.

Cllr Carl Marshall, Chair of DVRC, said: “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. The 116 homes at Heathway extends the partnership between the County Council and Keepmoat and will provide further investment and jobs throughout the construction period.”

Ian Prescott, Land and Partnerships Director, Keepmoat Homes, added: “We are delighted to see the provision of much needed family homes for local people come a step nearer and are particularly pleased that this scheme has been so well received by the community.

“In all our work, we endeavour to engage with local people and their council representatives to produce developments best suited to local needs.”

County Durham Housing Group Chief Executive Bill Fullen said: “These much needed new homes for Seaham have only been made possible thanks to this innovative project that has brought together skills from the public, private and not for profit sectors.

“We’re looking forward to construction starting. We know that the affordable homes will be in high demand and can’t wait to see the first families moving in.”

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