New residents have been moving into brand new affordable homes in the west of Newcastle.
The £2m development of 18 homes on Springfield Road in Blakelaw, Newcastle was delivered by a partnership of Karbon Homes, Newcastle City Council and Homes England.
It is part of a substantial programme of new homes being delivered by the growing landlord over the next four years.
The scheme, which is located within easy reach of Newcastle city centre and the A1, features 10 one and two bedroom bungalows for older residents and eight two bedroom flats to suit local housing needs.
Tommy and Jean Bell have moved to a bungalow from the family home on the West Road, where they lived for an incredible 59 years and raised all six of their children. They now have 11 grandchildren too.
Their son Keith explained how the couple were no longer able to live properly together, as Tommy could not climb stairs, and even going out was a challenge, with 14 steps from street to front door.
Tommy said: “We love the bungalow. It’s beautiful. The walk in shower is really good, and everything being on the flat.
“I had trouble doing a lot of things in the old house, as there were a lot of stairs, and we only had a shower over the bath. We couldn’t carry on there.”
Now the couple have moved to Sheriff Gardens, they can live together – and can even manage to walk a short distance to catch a bus into town.
Eleanor Gregory, 65, has moved into one of the other bungalows. She said: “I’m so excited because it’s a new build, so there’s no heavy decorating to be done, and it’s nice to have the flooring down in the kitchen and bathroom.
“I have a network of family and friends nearby, I like the area – and I like the look of the new homes.”
Mrs Gregory said she already knew some of the residents moving into the other flats and bungalows at Sheriff Gardens, so there was a definite sense of community straight away.
Karbon Homes has worked closely with Newcastle City Council to bring these new homes forward, having previously delivered ten phases of affordable homes in nearby Newbiggin Hall.
Additionally, Karbon Homes has recently completed three supported housing developments worth £5m, with 50 homes on three sites across the city, and has just completed a development of 12 new homes in nearby Kenton.
The main contractor for the site was NB Clark of Morpeth and construction was completed in just 12 months. The development was designed by award winning Newcastle-based architects JDDK – the site is just a short walk from the company’s office headquarters.
Homes England contributed a grant of £400,000 towards the £2m cost of the development.
Paul Wailes, allocations officer for Karbon Homes, said: “This has been an excellent development to work on, finding people homes right in the heart of the city and convenient for local services and transport links.”
Vince Walsh, development manager for Karbon, who led the development work, said: “We’re pleased to have worked with Newcastle City Council again on this scheme, continuing our successful partnership of delivering affordable housing across the city.”
Karen Anderson, Specialist at Homes England said: “We’re really pleased to have provided funding to support Karbon Homes in developing these fantastic new affordable homes.
“The development is an excellent example of Homes England’s commitment to increase the supply of affordable homes where they are needed, including for older people, meaning that they can stay close to their families.
“This is a great location for bungalows and apartments in Newcastle, close to services and bus routes so people can get out and about easily.”
Councillor Joyce McCarty, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing at Newcastle City Council, said: “The council has ambitious plans to deliver a range of high standard housing to meet the diverse needs of our residents now and in the future.”
“We are delighted that by working in partnership with Karbon Homes we have been able to deliver this scheme of affordable homes for rent that will make a real difference to those who live in them.”
The development in Blakelaw is just one small part of Karbon Homes’ development programme across the North East, which will see 2,400 homes delivered over four years.