Plans for affordable homes in a County Durham town have been approved, paving the way for what is claimed to be the first scheme development utilising the Natural England nutrient neutrality credit system.
With a reference number of 0001, the credits allowed the scheme to advance through planning and ensure that any impact to waterways from the development were fully mitigated by the long-term protection of an area of wild grassland nearby in Durham.
The move will see Newcastle-based affordable house builder Adderstone Living progress development work on a mix of 23 two, three and four bedroomed properties for social housing provider North Star Housing Group on a 0.8 ha plot of land near the junction of Pease Way and Greenfield in Newton Aycliffe.
The site falls within the Teesmouth and Cleveland Nutrient Neutrality Constraint area and Adderstone Living’s application has been successful within the requirements of the Natural England Mitigation Scheme. This means the project can progress as it will not add to existing nutrient burdens, so there will be no net increase in nutrients as a result of development.
Plans also see improved site access with a new road layout together with cycle bays and 35 parking spaces for residents and visitors. A variety of landscaping features will also be incorporated with hedge planting, street trees, grass and ornamental hedge and shrub planting.
Approval has been granted by Durham County Council, and now the scheme has received the green light, onsite building work will follow shortly with the first properties available in early 2025.
The project comes as the Government continues to push for the delivery of new homes to meet the chronic housing shortage and arrest the decline in the affordability of home ownership. This project has secured Homes England grant funding.
Demand for its products and expertise across its northern heartland has seen a raft of current projects secured by Adderstone Living in Yorkshire, County Durham, Wearside and Tyneside, said managing director Stephen McCoy.
He said: “It makes me so proud that our brilliant team has guaranteed the preservation of a beautiful little ecosystem in North Durham. It shows that partnering with local nature focused charities to generate and fund nutrient neutrality credits, is a workable solution to a problem that is reportedly stalling the delivery of 100,000 much needed new homes.
“With our social housing provider partners, we are committed to delivering quality affordable housing for people at varying stages of life across the region. This latest scheme will provide a mix of great affordable properties, giving families the opportunity to move on up the housing ladder and live in a great part of the region with access to local services and amenities.”
A spokesperson at North Star Housing Groupsaid more affordable housing was urgently needed for the region: “We are pleased that plans to deliver this much needed housing scheme in Newton Aycliffe have been approved by the Local Authority. We look forward to delivering high quality affordable homes for both rent and rent to buy in a sought after area.”