Keepmoat Homes, one of the UK’s leading homebuilders, have worked in partnership with Network Rail to enable the regeneration of the disused railway yard in Heaton with new energy-efficient homes.
Following a public consultation in June, which saw the majority of the local residents supportive of the proposals, Keepmoat Homes and Network Rail has agreed the legal transfer of the land to transform the derelict rail sidings at Heaton Down Yard into 143 new homes and a planning application has been submitted to Newcastle City Council.
The plans include a range of two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, each featuring enhanced insulation as well as energy-efficient designs for a lifetime of low energy bills. Of the new homes built, 21 will provide affordable housing. 14 will be offered for either discount market sale or First Homes and 7 will be affordable rent, to be delivered in partnership with Bernicia Housing Group.
The scheme will include a number of unique biodiversity features including a noise attenuation bund alongside the railway that also creates a series of ecological habitats ensuring that wildlife is able to thrive within the development. A swale will be installed which will run through the site to a SUDS pond to accommodate any surface water at times of high rainfall. These features will help create an attractive landscaped setting for the new homes.
A group of mature trees along Marleen Avenue located on the northern boundary of the site is to be retained, and as part of the homebuilder’s commitment to build a sustainable community and promote a healthier lifestyle for its residents, a dedicated cycling and pedestrian route is proposed.
In addition to the new housing development, Keepmoat Homes has committed to delivering an array of initiatives that will support the local community and residents of Newcastle upon Tyne. Upskilling and employment opportunities will be generated by hiring local contractors to undertake the work on site, and a programme of apprenticeships and pre-employability training programmes will be available following the creation by Keepmoat Homes of the NHBC Training Hub in Scotswood. The housing developer will also be supporting the local community and charity groups throughout the lifetime of the development.
Ian Worgan, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat Homes said: “We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with Network Rail to deliver much-needed new housing in Heaton. We have a strong track record of breathing new life into brownfield land in the city and this scheme follows on previous successes in this respect at The Grove in Byker, The Rise in Scotswood and Dunblane Crescent in West Denton, all delivered in partnership with the Newcastle City Council.
“Our aim is to build 143 new sustainable homes on the disused site, which will provide an increased choice of quality homes for prospective homeowners, including first-time buyers and those looking to up-or-downsize.
“As a company, not only do we strive to create better places for people to live, we place a strong emphasis on supporting and investing in the local community within which we work, and are driven to work in partnerships with Local Authorities such as Newcastle City Council to maximise local labour, employability and skills within the construction industry, creating apprenticeships and opportunities for young people to kick-start their career within the region.”
Robin Dobson, Group Property Director at Network Rail said “We are proud to have created a partnership with Keepmoat Homes on the redevelopment of this regionally important brownfield site. It will enable the delivery of 143 new sustainable homes, much needed affordable housing for the North East.
“This is a partnership that aligns with the Government’s strategy to accelerate the rollout of sustainable housing to drive local economic growth. It’s a project that demonstrates the pivotal role the railway can play in unlocking important development sites.
“The public and private partnership that we’re delivering it through is an approach we are replicating in other towns and cities across the country. It will provide long-lasting benefits for the local community and the region.”
Newcastle’s commercial real estate agency, Naylors Gavin Black LLP, advised Network Rail on the redevelopment of the site. Newcastle Quayside based law firm Ward Hadaway advised Keepmoat Homes on the site purchase and Addleshaw Goddard LLP acted for Network Rail.
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