Proposals for a £7m scheme to build 61 affordable new homes in Berwick have been unveiled. North East housing association, Bernicia, wants to build a mix of bungalows and family homes on the site of the former Seton Hall at Tweedmouth.
The houses for rent or shared ownership are aimed specifically at local people – for young people starting out on the housing ladder, couples, young families and older people looking to downsize their existing home. Bernicia plans to build 19 bungalows as well as a mix of two, three and four-bedroom properties on the site of nearly two hectares of disused land, once the home of the now demolished Seton Hall. The scheme will also create 55 construction jobs and support 65 posts in the supply chain during the two-year build.
Rents for the properties will all be affordable meaning that they will be at least 20% cheaper than market rents in the local area. The proposed shared ownership properties also allow people to part-buy and part-rent their new home, with the option of buying bigger shares when they can afford to. The site will be landscaped, keeping the majority of trees while planting new native species to provide habitat for wildlife. All the properties will be highly energy efficient.
Northumberland County Council leader, Councillor Glen Sanderson, said: “Improving the quantity and quality of affordable housing to help create more homes for rent in areas of need, remains one of the council’s top priorities. Every single affordable home can change a family’s life. Our housing teams have been working very closely with Bernicia to ensure that the housing options in the plans will meet the housing needs of the Berwick community, with homes for the young, elderly and larger families.”
Michael Farr, Bernicia executive director of assets and growth, said: “Our aim is to build 61 high-quality homes in an area where we know there is a strong demand for affordable housing. Bernicia has a proven track record of delivering quality new homes in North Northumberland for rent in our recent development at Seahouses. As a social housing provider, we will deliver a mix of affordable rented and shared ownership properties in a newly landscaped area people will be proud to call home.”
Bernicia will submit a full planning application to Northumberland County Council next month.