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New council houses get the go-ahead in Cockerton
THE next step in a major redevelopment of council homes in Darlington is underway after a £6m scheme to build dozens of new houses was passed by planners.
Plans to transform parts of Cockerton and provide new family housing for the town was given the go-ahead by Darlington Borough Council’s planning officers last week, with work set to begin later this year.
Led by construction company Esh Group, which has invested £900,000 in the scheme, the redevelopment work will see 76 one and two-bedroom council flats demolished and 84 family homes built in their place. Demolition work has already started in Minors Crescent, with properties in Arundel Drive and Rothbury Drive also earmarked for replacement.
The project has already seen the refurbishment of 142 council-owned homes in the Cockerton area, funded by council rents, to fit new kitchens and bathrooms, heating systems, doors and outside works including new roofs and parking areas.
Sixty of the new homes will be available for rent from Endeavour Housing Association, part of the North Star Housing Group, and the remainder will be put up for sale.
A number of new play areas and green spaces will also be developed in the area, as well as improved links to West Park and the possibility of developing the Nickstream Lane shopping area.
At an event to launch the house building scheme Veronica Copeland, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “The regeneration work at Cockerton will see the area developed for today’s lifestyle – family houses available for rent and sale with good, well-planned local amenities and links.
“The major financial investment in the project is a huge boost in confidence for our borough and something we should all take pride in – to know developers want to invest their money here is wonderful news.”
David Halfacre, chairman of Esh Property Services, said: “We are delighted with this scheme. We believe it will transform the area which had become very run down. “Lots of unpopular one-bedroom flats were standing empty, the shopping area was not well used and the play areas were tucked away and harboured anti-social activity which in turn was causing upset to residents nearby.
“It’s a really exciting scheme which we believe will transform the whole area.”
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