Work starts on affordable homes

Northumberland County Councillors Kath Nisbet and Alan Hepple with Jonathan Parker and Ian Swainston from Esh Property Services at the Morpeth Road site in Blyth,

Northumberland County Councillors Kath Nisbet and Alan Hepple with Jonathan Parker and Ian Swainston from Esh Property Services at the Morpeth Road site in Blyth,

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Work has begun on a near £3m project to build new affordable homes in Blyth.

Northumberland County Council has appointed Esh Property Services to carry out the construction work in the £2.8m funded scheme to build 26 bungalows on the site of the former Morpeth Road School.

The new housing development will be made up of two-bedroom bungalows, two of which will be built to accommodate wheelchair access.

The dwellings will also be built to Lifetime Homes Standard and include direct access en suite facilities and provision for future hoists as well as level access showers. There are also dementia-friendly elements such as glass-fronted kitchen cabinets.

The scheme is being managed and funded by Northumberland County Council and is due for completion at the end of September 2016. The homes will then be available for affordable rent and allocated through applications on the county’s Homefinder register.

Coun Allan Hepple, cabinet member for housing, said: “The lack of affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing young people and families in Northumberland and the council has placed a strong emphasis on building new affordable homes.

“We’ve recently built around 180 properties in Blyth at South Newsham, Tynedale Drive and Hodgson’s Road. The majority of these were family homes, but we do have a high demand from elderly residents for bungalows and this new scheme will help to address this local need.”

“What’s more, the provision of bungalows will allow elderly residents to move into more suitable sized single storey accommodation and release much needed family accommodation for others on the housing waiting list.”

Graham Morgan, divisional director at Esh Property Services, said: “This new development in Blyth is creating both affordable housing for local people and much needed specialist bungalows.”

“The works are being undertaken in consultation with the local community to ensure the project is completed with minimal disruption.”