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New council homes in County Durham

Published date : 20 November 2012

Guestscelebrating the openingAt the end of a two year build programme residents in Crook are celebrating the completion of County Durham’s newest council homes, thanks to investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) of over £2.5m.

In total  £5.6m has been invested to provide 46 apartments and four bungalows providing accommodation for the over 55s which is energy efficient and adaptable to allow people to stay if they become less mobile.

The final residents moved into the Park Avenue Close scheme this summer and came together with everyone involved in the project for the celebration and an official opening by Pat Ritchie, chief executive of the HCA.

Finance for the development, built by Keepmoat, came from Durham County Council and the HCA while the building and residents are cared for by Dale & Valley Homes.

Performing the official opening, Mrs Ritchie saidd:

“I am really pleased to open this scheme, which shows how working with our local authority partners can make such a difference for local people. Our investment has helped Dale & Valley Homes provide a choice of homes that will help ensure local people can stay in their community. I am particularly pleased that our support has helped Dale & Valley Homes to continue their excellent apprenticeship programme, helping to secure jobs for local people.”

The building’s features include a boiler which uses waste heat from heating the building to generate electricity for the communal areas. There are also lounge areas where residents can gather and organise communal activities.

Cllr Clive Robson, cabinet member for housing at Durham County Council, said:

“We are delighted to see the opening of these new, high quality units which provide valuable homes for people over the age of 55 in Crook. Their excellent design and energy efficient performance is an example of the standards of housing that Durham County Council is proud to own.”

Colin Stockwell, chairman of Dale & Valley Homes, added:

“Since the first day people moved in we have been told how happy they are to live here. They are delighted with the design, happy with the communal facilities and tell us how efficient the heating system is. People are also really pleased with the way they look from the outside and the views enjoyed by those living on the upper floors. It has taken a real partnership from everyone involved to make the project such a success.”

The scheme was built by Keepmoat, the company who also joined the HCA, Durham County Council and Dale & Valley Homes on a scheme to build new family homes at Greenside Place in Crook.

Graham Scanlon, business development director at Keepmoat North East & Scotland, said:

“It is wonderful to see the difference this scheme has made to residents and the impact it has had on the community as a whole.  We have received lots of positive feedback from residents about the design and I would like to wish them lots of happiness in their new homes.”

Photo Caption: (l to r) Mark Kearney, Operations Director – Keepmoat; Peter Chaffer; Pat Glass MP; Pat Ritchie; Clive Robson and Paul Gay – Construction Manager, Keepmoat

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