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Year Six pupils from St. Peter and Paul R.C. Primary School joined the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Ken Stephenson this week to officially open a new £4m affordable housing development in South Shields. 

The Staithes, located in Tyne Dock off Lord Nelson Street, comprises 31 two and three bedroom homes and six two-bedroom bungalows for older residents.

The Karbon Homes development was built on the site of the former St. Mary’s CofE Primary School and the adjacent St. Mary’s Centre. Construction works completed earlier this year and all homes are fully occupied. 

As part of its commitment to the local community, Karbon Homes approached St. Peter and Paul R.C. Primary School in late 2016 and invited Year Five pupils to create artwork for the new housing development. Using the history of the docks and shipyards in South Shields as their inspiration, the children visited the Discovery Museum in Newcastle and Port of Tyne to help them finalise their designs for the artwork.

The children worked alongside community artist Neil Canavan in the school and at Neil’s studio in South Shields to produce house numbers and a piece of artwork as an entrance feature which was unveiled by the children at the scheme opening.

The Staithes was highly commended in the High Volume New Housing Development category of the Local Authority Building Control North East Building Excellence Awards last month.  

The layout for the development uses the ‘Home Zone’ principles to ensure all the homes are easily accessible, and the site is pedestrian and cycle friendly, with traffic calming measures throughout.

This new development is just the latest to be brought forward by Karbon Homes in the South Tyneside area. 

Elsewhere, Karbon is also developing 18 homes at Gordon House in South Shields which includes 2 and 3 bedroom homes for Rent to Buy and a further 22 homes at Victoria Road West comprising of 2 and 3 bedroom family homes.

David Butler, Vice Chair of Karbon Homes, said: “This is a fantastic scheme which provides a mix of modern, affordable homes for families and older residents. It’s in a great location with excellent transportation links and easy access to local amenities.

“We are very grateful to South Tyneside Council and our partners who have helped us to bring this development to completion and I hope the residents enjoy living in their new homes. I would also like to thank Cllr. Stephenson for coming along today to officially open the scheme and to the children of St. Peter and Paul R.C. School who have been a delight to work with. The artwork they have designed for each home and at the entrance of the development is brilliant – they should be very proud of themselves.”

Cllr. Ken Stephenson, Mayor of South Tyneside, said: “I’m delighted to officially open this development.

“We are committed to working in partnership to provide much-needed affordable homes to meet local need across the Borough.

“I’m sure anyone living at The Staithes will be proud to call it home.”

Homes England (formerly the Homes and Communities Agency) has contributed £851,000 towards the total £4m cost. Karen Anderson from Homes England, said: “I am delighted to see these well designed, attractive homes complete. They will make fantastic homes and it’s great to see that everyone has already moved in. I am really pleased that Homes England has been able to support the development where the design, and mixture of houses and bungalows, creates a modern community feel.”

Maria Butt, Head Teacher at St Peter and Paul R.C. School, said: “Our children have greatly enjoyed the new experiences this project has enabled them to access, from working with an artist, visiting Port of Tyne to seeing their artwork in situ at The Staithes housing development. It is wonderful to think about the pleasure residents and visitors will get from the artwork for many years to come.” 

The new homes were built by Gus Robinson Developments, designed by architects Norr Consultants and the design was approved by the North East Design Review Panel. Portland Consulting Engineers and Elliot Associates were also part of the project team.

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