The first phase of the ambitious Springfield Meadows development in Darlington is now complete and the first residents have moved in.
Housing association Karbon Homes has been working on the £11m project with main contractor Gus Robinson Developments.
In total, the project will see 80 new homes developed, with a mixture of Rent to Buy, Affordable Rent and market sale homes available to serve the differing needs of the local community.
Holly Avery, 33, has just moved into a four bedroom semi-detached home with partner Ben and their two daughters Pearl and Ruby, aged three and one.
She said: “ It’s a perfect location for us, as we used to live just around the corner.
We originally looked at a three bedroom townhouse, but we have two young children and we wanted to get settled in our forever home. This one just ticked very box for us. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.
“This is getting us on the property ladder through Rent to Buy. We are hoping to have bought it before the five year period is up.”
Rent to Buy is aimed at people who would like to buy a property but who currently don’t have enough savings to cover a deposit, allowing residents to rent before they buy.
As rents are set at 80% of the local market rent, this offers the opportunity to save towards a deposit. They also have the option to buy on a shared ownership basis after 12 months.
Holly, a part time hotel receptionist and Ben, a telecommunications engineer, have moved from a rented two bedroom house nearby, so the change to a bigger living space has been transformative for their family.
Holly said: “It’s a four bedroom semi-detached, with a garage. Even with carpets and furniture in now, it still feels pretty big.
“I’m currently looking at getting the garden done so the kids can play out in the summer. We might look at converting the garage in the future too.”
Karbon has a growing presence in the Darlington area with a new 44 home development in Middleton St George near Teesside Airport, a small collection of homes in the Central Park regeneration project close to Darlington Railway Station, and a development of 10 market sale homes on the northern outskirts of Darlington.
Karbon is also the landlord of 250 homes on the Mandale Park regeneration project in nearby Stockton, with more homes to be developed soon in the town.
Ged Walsh, director of development and asset management at Karbon Homes, said: “We are really pleased with the way Springfield Meadows is developing. It’s providing something different for Darlington, with the mix of homes we are providing and different routes to buying or renting.
“It’s wonderful to see residents moving into the first homes.
“We wish Holly and Ben well with their new property, and look forward to more residents joining them over the coming months.”
Anybody interested in a new home on the Springfield Meadows development can find out more through the www.karbonhomes.co.uk website.