Developer continues to meet Durham’s housing need

The success of a mixed tenure development in County Durham – designed to help meet local housing need – has paved the way for a second phase, more than three times bigger.

Bishops Park, delivered 99 new homes on an eight acre plot next to Auckland Park on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland. Of these 49 were for private sale, 20 for shared ownership and the remaining 30 for affordable rent.

Now the developer, Vistry Partnerships North East, has acquired a further 31 adjacent acres in order to build a further 330 homes and possibly an extra care facility for older people and those with particular support needs.

At least 100 properties – and possible double that number – will be taken by an affordable housing partner to provide for shared ownership, rent to buy and affordable rent. The remaining homes will be sold by Vistry’s housebuilding division, Linden Homes.

The site has been earmarked for housing since 2007 and planning consent was given in 2011. However, no construction took place until Vistry utilised grant it secured from Homes England’s Affordable Homes Programme 2016/21, to create a financially viable scheme and unlocked the potential of the site.

It is anticipated building will commence in November 2021, subject to planning approval, with the first homes ready for occupation by August 2022. Development Director, Andrew Rennie, said: “This means we can continue to help meet the needs of all those seeking homes, with a mixture of one to four bedroomed properties – some for outright sale, some for shared ownership, rent-to-buy and others for affordable rent. We will deliver this by working, once again, with a housing association partner to create a vibrant and sustainable community on the edge of Bishop Auckland.”

Vistry Partnerships North East is currently active on 14 construction sites around the region with a gross development value of just under £360 million and is working with seven housing associations and eight local authorities.