First homes completed in Woodhouse Close regeneration

The first new homes constructed as part of a large planned regeneration project in the Woodhouse Close area of Bishop Auckland are complete.

A dozen two-bed wheelchair-adaptable bungalows have been officially unveiled by Believe Housing in Howard Close.

The bungalows have been designed from the outset with features that make them well-suited to the needs of wheelchair users. They include purpose-built wet rooms, level access throughout and wide doorways.

The project is a direct result of high demand for bungalows in the Bishop Auckland area and is part of a £70m investment in new affordable homes by believe housing. More than 700 homes are being constructed up to 2022 as part of the County Durham-based housing association’s current new-build programme.

Construction of the bungalows on a brownfield site in Howard Close has been carried out by Durham-based Esh Living part of Esh Group. Work was carefully undertaken to blend the new bungalows into existing homes on the street and ensure disruption to neighbours was kept at a minimum.

The Howard Close site is the first to be developed as part of an extensive masterplan that has been created by believe housing and Durham County Council for the regeneration of the Woodhouse Close area. Consultation on the project was carried out in 2017 and 2018.

More than 200 new homes are proposed in Woodhouse Close with a mix of property types included, ranging from further affordable bungalows to larger family homes and featuring a variety of tenures.

These high-spec bungalows have been created to help meet specific demand for wheelchair adaptable bungalows in the Bishop Auckland area.

“It’s just the kind of development that our new-build programme was created to deliver. We’ve been able to take a compact and complicated site and turn it into quality new bungalows that local people really wanted to see. The private sector would be unlikely to even consider such a project, but it’s given us a great opportunity to show how not-for-profit housing associations like believe housing can really deliver for communities.”

Bill Fullen, Chief Executive of Believe Housing