Plans lodged for 61 affordable homes in Northumberland town

Plans have been submitted for a new £7 million housing development on the site of the former Seton Hall residential home site in Tweedmouth.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 10:34 am

Housing association Bernicia has lodged a planning application for 61 affordable rental and shared ownership properties on the Ord Road site.

The proposal was first unveiled in September and has been out to public consultation over the past two months.

A mix of two, three and four bedroom houses and 19 two and three bedroom bungalows are proposed.

A computer generated image of how the proposed homes will look.

It would comprise 37 affordable rent units and 24 shared ownership units.

The houses for rent or shared ownership are aimed specifically at local people – for young people starting out on the housing ladder, couples, young families and older people looking to downsize their existing home.

A planning report on the applicant’s behalf states: “At this stage it is proposed that the affordable homes will comprise a mixture of affordable rent (60%) and shared ownership (40%).

“The shortage of these identified properties in the area is based on Bernicia’s own data regarding housing need in the area, which shows that there is a strong demand for three-bedroom bungalows and four-bed houses.

Northumberland County Council leader Glen Sanderson, Cllr Georgina Hill, Cllr Isabel Hunter and Michael Farr, Bernicia executive director of assets and growth.

"Furthermore, in the last 10 years there has been a low occupant turnover, meaning that when properties do become available the number of bids is high.”

Rents for the properties will all be affordable – that means they will be at least 20% cheaper than market rents in the local area.

The proposed shared ownership properties allow people to part buy and part rent their new home, with the option of buying bigger shares when they can afford to.

The site will be landscaped, keeping the majority of trees while planting new native species to provide habitat for wildlife. All the properties will be highly energy efficient.

The public consultation saw 500 leaflets distributed and although only 19 responses were received, the majority were supportive.

Michael Farr, Bernicia executive director of assets and growth, said: “We were very encouraged by the level of support for the scheme from local people during our pre-planning consultation exercise, which included leafleting hundreds of properties in the area to inform them of our plans.”

The scheme, if approved, will create 55 construction jobs and support 65 posts in the supply chain during a two-year build.

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