An empty site in the north of Murton is set to be transformed into a major new development of affordable homes by one of the region’s largest housing associations. County Durham Housing Group will build 22 three-bedroom houses, 24 two-bedroom wheelchair adaptable bungalows and four three-bedroom bungalows on land in Truro Avenue.
Durham County Council’s Area Planning Committee (Central and East) approved the Truro Avenue development unanimously on Tuesday, 9 October, subject to completion of the usual ‘Section 106’ agreement. The site of the new homes has been vacant for some time but was previously used for housing.
All of the new homes have been designed specifically to meet demand for low-cost housing in Murton and will be offered at affordable rent or under the government backed ‘Rent to Buy’ scheme.
The 28 new bungalows will double the number of such homes that County Durham Housing Group can offer in Murton. Lack of affordable bungalows has been identified as a significant issue for housing in the area and local councillors have been strongly supportive of these proposals.
Rent to Buy is designed to ease the transition from renting to buying a home by offering a reduced rent, usually around 20% below the market rate. The aim is to give people the opportunity to save for a deposit at the same time and buy their home after five years.
The Truro Avenue project is part of a £54m affordable housing programme from County Durham Housing Group and is the largest single development to date.
In total 545 new homes are being constructed as part of a programme that began in 2017 and will continue into 2021. The high-specification properties are helping to meet demand for affordable homes in communities stretching from rural Weardale to the Durham coast.
County Durham Housing Group Development Manager, Tom Winter, said: “Across the whole country demand for genuinely affordable homes has probably never been higher, and that’s no different in Murton. We’re really pleased to have planning permission for this project and now preparations to start physical work can get underway.
“It’s an exciting development of high quality properties. I think it’s going to make a huge difference to this part of the town as well as providing good, affordable homes for dozens of families.”
Work on the site in Truro Avenue is due to begin during 2019 and the first tenants are expected to move into their new homes in early 2020.