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New homes take shape on former hospital site

19 supported bungalows have risen from the ground, with topping out marking a milestone moment for the development.
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A POCKET-sized community of new homes has topped out in Pennywell on a former hospital site.

Delivered in partnership with Sunderland City Council – who have signed an agreement with MCC Homes to build the bungalows, which will support people living with disabilities, – the properties are now moving into the final phase of construction, with completion expected by summer.  They stand on the former Havelock Hospital site at the edge of Hylton Road, with the building having fallen into a poor state of repair and standing unused before demolition works paved the way for the new homes to be built.

The development is being supported by Homes England and – when complete – the homes will support vulnerable residents, as well as people living with disabilities and older residents.  The bungalows – all one-bedroom homes – will complement existing housing for people at nearby St Clement’s Court and ensure a more comprehensive, connected and efficient support service.

Councillor Kevin Johnston, dynamic city portfolio holder at Sunderland City Council, said: “Topping out is always a significant moment in construction, and it is wonderful to revisit this scheme and see it taking shape, having stood here when demolition was undertaken less than a year ago.

“These will provide much-needed high-quality accessible homes for residents in the city, ensuring we have the housing stock to support vulnerable people whose needs are not often met by standard properties.  We want to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are supported to realise their potential.”

MCC Homes Limited has delivered a range of developments for the council to date, including five bungalows in Elmwood Avenue, Southwick, and more recently the larger ‘Arnay Court’ development at Old Mill Road in Southwick.  By working with Monkwearmouth based MCC Homes Limited, the council is supporting the firm to sustain and create jobs and opportunities for local people and businesses during its development.

Luke Lee, head of operations at MCC Homes, said: “This is a lovely scheme in an established residential community, that will deliver stunning accessible homes, made for Sunderland people by a Sunderland business.

“We are proud to be a local business, and – every time we deliver homes for the council – there is a social and economic benefit to the city, as we employ local people and create apprenticeship opportunities too, for the next generation.”

Homes England has enabled the development with a £954,000 grant.

Andrea Taylor, senior manager at Homes England, said: “As the Government’s housing and regeneration agency, increasing the supply of quality affordable homes remains one of our key objectives and we are committed to supporting ambitious housebuilders of all sizes to build those homes and communities.

“This investment through the Affordable Homes Programme allows our partners and registered providers to do just that, it has enabled Sunderland City Council to build 19 much needed new homes the people of Pennywell can be proud of.”

The council has developed a number of new schemes in recent years, with a particular focus on supported housing and one-level homes for older people and those with disabilities, enabling vulnerable residents to live in properties that support them to be independent for longer.  In many cases, new homes have replaced empty buildings, that so often blight their community, returning them to use and creating attractive new homes for our residents in the process.

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