Construction work begins on 24 new affordable homes in Sunderland

A ground breaking ceremony has marked the start on site at a development in Sunderland known as Leeway Green.

Senior representatives of Esh Construction and Gentoo Group were joined by Councillor Graeme Miller, Leader of Sunderland City Council, to officially break ground on a 24-home development in Sunderland.

The £3.5 million project, named Leeway Green, marks the first time Esh will deliver new build affordable housing on behalf of Gentoo.

A mix of 24 two and three-bedroom houses and bungalows will be constructed at Eastbourne Square in Carley Hill and will be available for affordable rent.

The development was given the go ahead by planners in November 2020 and replaces flats that were demolished in the late 90’s. Modern, contemporary and spacious in design, the new homes will meet the varying needs of the city’s residents and include bungalows for Sunderland’s ageing population.

Procured via Prosper, Esh Construction is appointed as the design and build contractor to deliver the scheme, which includes construction of roads and sewers and all associated external works. Esh will work in partnership with Blake Hopkinson Architecture and Design, JNP Group Consulting Engineers and Hall and Partners.

Gary Dobson, Divisional Director at Esh Construction, said: “As a North East based contractor, we’re delighted to be part of the affordable homes programme which is underway across Sunderland and, through our strong regional presence and robust local supply chain, we will deliver on our promise to maximise economic and social value for the local community.”

The new homes are part of Gentoo’s planned £117 million investment into affordable homes in Sunderland, with ambitious plans set to see 900 additional homes for affordable rent brought to the city by 2024. Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, commented: “I’m delighted to see Gentoo forging ahead with these much-needed affordable homes.

“New homes are a major part of Sunderland’s future as we work to broaden, improve and increase our housing stock to provide more choice and variety to meet the needs of our communities. We’re committed to working with partners like Gentoo to proactively address affordable housing and strategic housing needs across the city.”

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo Group, said: “Building much needed rented homes in Sunderland is at the forefront of our plans here at Gentoo and the delivery of these homes across the city is another vital step forward to reducing the housing shortage and ensuring the city’s residents have access to truly affordable homes.

“These homes are being built in conjunction with our ongoing multimillion-pound investment into our existing properties and we’re excited to start handing these high-quality homes over to our tenants later this year.”

A nod to Sunderland’s heritage, the development is named Leeway Green in relation to a former shipyard in the city which was owned by Austin & Pickersgill Ltd. The Southwick shipyard of Austin and Pickersgill is known for the launch of the first SD14 ‘Nicola’ in 1968, which was the first in a long line of standard ships designed and launched by the shipbuilders, its success reflected by a further 211 ships built to the same design over the course of 20 years.

Esh’s work on the Leeway Green development marks the first affordable new build homes we will deliver for Gentoo. As a North East based contractor, we’re delighted to be part of the affordable homes programme which is underway across Sunderland and, through our strong regional presence and robust local supply chain, we will deliver on our promise to maximise economic and social value for the local community.”

Gary Dobson, Divisional Director at Esh Construction

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