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Affordable bungalows are regeneration firm’s first ever new build scheme

A development of modern, affordable bungalows is being built for County Durham-based housing association believe housing – representing an exciting first for the scheme’s builder.
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The 23 homes at Tintern Road, in St Helen Auckland, County Durham, will be the first new residential properties delivered by RE:GEN Group.

The homes are being built to help meet growing demand for bungalows in the Bishop Auckland area, particularly for older people and families with accessibility needs.

All have been designed with state-of-the-art energy efficiency measures built into the fabric of the building, and with layouts that can be adapted to suit future tenants’ needs.

The scheme is the first ever new-build construction project for RE:GEN Group, an established North East company specialising in regeneration projects.

Lee Francis, CEO of RE:GEN Group said: “This is such an exciting time for the team as we embark on our first new build housing project.

“We’re a multifaceted regeneration specialist, delivering best-in-class solutions to the social housing sector across the North East. Thanks to the drive and expertise of the people I work with, in just over two years we have grown our portfolio from delivering exceptional refurbishment and green solutions to now offering new build services.

“We keep things really simple for our clients – we deliver on our promises – and it’s through this approach that we have some incredibly high achieving partnerships, including this one with believe housing. To now be able to extend this partnership even further is fantastic – we can’t wait to get started.”

Construction started onsite this month (May 2023) and the homes are expected to be available for affordable rent, via County Durham’s lettings partnership Durham Key Options, in early summer 2024.

Kate Abson, Director of Development at believe housing, said: “We’ve worked with RE:GEN Group on numerous successful projects from garage refurbishments to upgrading the energy efficiency of more than 1000 homes.

“We’re pleased to now be working with them on this development as we continue to deliver high-quality homes, where they are needed.

“Almost a third of our customers who want to live in St Helen Auckland are looking for ground floor accommodation, and demand for two-bed bungalows has risen by 36 per cent just in the last year.

“When properties do become available, they always attract a lot of bids and new builds are especially popular.

“Our bungalows at Tintern Road will make beautiful homes, that will suit customers’ needs and aspirations for years to come.

“They’ll be extremely energy efficient, constructed of materials and using technology that makes them comfortable to live in, affordable to heat, and environmentally friendly.”

The development fits with believe housing’s ambitions for delivering new homes fit for the future which are designed, constructed, and powered in ways that reduce the impact on climate change.

The site is completely off-gas. Each bungalow will be fitted with an air source heat pump which extracts heat from the air outside to heat the property and provide hot water. The pumps are quiet and will be located to have minimal impact on residents.

The homes will also have solar panels and batteries, positioned so they don’t take up storage space, and EV charging points, private parking, and access to open space.

Potential tenants will be shown how easy it is to manage the technology.

The accessible homes will be two or three-bed bungalows with wet rooms.

Two dormers have been specially designed with families in mind. Downstairs they will have two bedrooms and a wet room, so parents could sleep alongside a disabled child, and upstairs a third bedroom and a bathroom. The layout will enable them to be converted to suit the specific needs of a family, even able to split the first-floor bedroom to create a four-bed property.

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