BDC

Placefirst breaks ground at £13m Durham residential scheme

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Leading and award-winning build-to-rent provider Placefirst has broken ground at its £13m residential development in Esh Winning.

Located six miles west of Durham city centre, the scheme named The Oaks will deliver 89 high quality homes for long-term rent; a mix of 54 bungalows, the largest delivery in a generation, and 35 three-bedroom houses.

The start of construction was marked by a ground-breaking ceremony which was attended by key members of the Placefirst project team and representatives from Durham County Council.

Placefirst has worked with architect POD Newcastle and landscape architect Southern Green to design a scheme which will transform the two-hectare brownfield site.

Placefirst’s commitment to placemaking and sustainability is showcased through the masterplan which is landscape-led with the retention of high value oak trees and a network of shared green spaces for residents to enjoy.

As a multigenerational community, the development will provide a boost to the village, benefitting local services, businesses and amenities. The site’s proximity to the open countryside and green space will be attractive to new residents, and the site is also well connected to surrounding towns and Durham city centre.

The Oaks represents Placefirst’s continued dedication to providing quality homes to the single family rental market, and builds on its strong track record of creating communities in the North East region including The Green in Hartlepool, which transformed three streets of Victorian houses, and Scholar’s View, a new build neighbourhood of 116 homes in Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland.

Placefirst is responsible for every aspect of the home and neighbourhood. Each development has a dedicated resident services manager and renters are guaranteed a characterful, fully maintained, high-quality home for as long as they like. Work at The Oaks is expected to complete in late 2024.

James Litherland, planning and development manager at Placefirst commented: “We are proud to commence work at Esh Winning, a project that will bring new life to the site and deliver 89 high quality homes for rent to the North East. The team have worked hard to bring this development together and we’d like to thank them as well as Durham County Council who have shown great enthusiasm throughout.

“With a proven track record of placemaking and regeneration, we are pleased to be bringing new single-family rental properties to the area which will make a lasting positive impact on the community. We look forward to work completing in late 2024.”

Cllr James Rowlandson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for resources, investment and assets, said: “We are pleased to see work getting underway on this development and look forward to its completion. Having access to good quality housing is vital to the wellbeing of our residents.

“With a mixture of bungalows and houses for single families and new homes for rent, this scheme will help to meet local needs”.

Cllr Jean Chaplow commented: “I have been campaigning for the delivery of bungalows on this site for a long time so I am delighted to see work start.  On behalf of the ward councillors I’d like to thank Placefirst for their commitment to this project.  We are pleased they will be maintaining the existing oak trees as part of the landscaping, and I look forward to seeing the neighbourhood complete in 2024.”

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BDC 299 December 2022