A land deal has paved the way for a further 70 homes at a popular Bishop Auckland development.
The purchase of a 6 acre plot to the south east of Countryside Partnerships North East’s Bishops Park Development, near to Auckland Park, opens the door for a third phase of construction on a site where planning consent for around 500 homes was granted back in 2011.
This final parcel of land, acquired from Durham County Council – and which was once home to old railway sidings – was brokered with the support of Ward Hadaway. It is expected that work on the £15M third phase of 70 properties could potentially commence as soon as 2024.
The land had been earmarked for housing since 2007. However, no construction took place until Countryside Partnerships North East (Previously named Vistry Partnerships North East) utilised a grant secured from Homes England’s Affordable Homes Programme 2016/21, to create a financially viable scheme and unlock the potential of the site.
Countryside Partnerships North East has already constructed 99 new homes – 49 for private sale, 20 for shared ownership and 30 for affordable rent – during the first phase of works on the £89.5M project. Delivered with an aim to increase both the housing choice and quality available to local people, the development proved popular – with all properties marketed for sale selling within just two years, despite the challenges that Covid-19 regulations posed.
Work began on a second phase of housing in May last year, which will see the delivery of 331 properties. County Durham based, not-for-profit housing association, believe housing, is in the process of acquiring 100 of the properties for affordable rent and rent to buy, with an option on a further 100, under the same tenures. The remaining 131 homes will be available to purchase soon through Countryside Partnerships’ Linden Homes brand.
When underway, the third phase will create four new apprenticeships and safeguard nine more, whilst also providing training and vocational skills courses and placements for local young people.
Negotiated as part of the whole project, Countryside Partnerships North East will contribute over £325,000 towards infrastructure improvements to Coundon Gate Roundabout – the junction of the A689 and A688.
Andrew Rennie, Development Director with Countryside Partnerships North East, said: “We are pleased to have unlocked this final parcel of land that will allow us to continue delivering high quality new homes that meet the varying housing needs of local people.
“We have a proven track record of working in partnership with local authorities, Homes England and housing associations, to bring a fresh approach to sites that have previously been deemed too difficult or costly to bring back into use. Here at Bishops Park, our expertise – and a good working relationship with Durham County Council – has resulted in a new and sustainable community that is improving both the choice and quality of homes in the area.”
Countryside Partnerships North East is currently active on 12 construction sites around the North East region with a gross development value of just over £500 million and is working with eight housing associations and seven local authorities.
Formerly known locally as Vistry Partnerships North East, a national merger between Vistry Group and Countryside Partnerships last year, saw a rebrand and change of name. Work on North East projects has continued unaffected and it is very much business as usual.
Nick Winney, Managing Associate in Ward Hadaway’s residential development team, said: “We have worked closely with the Countryside team on all three phases of the Bishops Park development, from the first sales to acquisition of this last parcel of land. We are delighted to have been instrumental in unlocking the final phase to ensure the full potential of the site can be realised by our client and more new homes delivered.”
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