Work has started on the first new social homes to be built in a small upper Weardale village for more than 50 years.
New two-bed bungalows are being developed in the small community of Rookhope, five miles from Stanhope, thanks to believe housing.
The development has been described as ‘vital’ for the future of the village, which has a population of under 300 people.
Ground was broken on the site in Boltsburn Crescent during a formal sod cutting ceremony by believe housing and T.Manners & Sons Limited. The last new social housing to be built in the village dates back to the post-war period.
The bungalows will feature high levels of insulation, the latest heating systems powered by solar panels, and double glazing; and are expected to bring big savings to tenants when compared with older homes in the village. Demand for modern bungalows in the area is high as most properties date back to the area’s lead mining heyday.
believe housing Chief Executive, Bill Fullen, said: “These new bungalows are being built as the direct result of calls by local people and councillors to provide affordable bungalows in Rookhope.
“We’ve worked closely with local residents to make these vital new homes possible. Demand for affordable homes in rural areas has probably never been higher. By working with the local community and a range of partners in the public and private sector, housing associations like ourselves are best placed to deliver the new affordable homes that hard working families desperately need.”
The bungalows are being constructed as part of a major programme of new house building by believe housing, which will see 297 new homes built on 17 sites between the Tyne and the Tees.
T. Manners & Sons Limited have been appointed as building contractor by the group; the homes are expected to be complete by early 2018. Once ready, the homes will be offered at affordable rent with priority given to the local community.
Simon Manners, Joint Managing Director of T Manners and Sons Ltd commented: “We are delighted to be working with believe housing in delivering these much needed new homes and as a local company, it is particularly pleasing to see investment like this in our County. This is our first project with believe housing and I hope it is the start of a successful local partnership to deliver the social homes our area so desperately needs.”