A housing regeneration project in Gateshead has been shortlisted for a top planning award.
Phase one of the trilogy development in Saltwell is one of only 10 projects up for honours at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) North East Awards for Planning Excellence.
The new homes were delivered by Gateshead Regeneration Partnership (GRP), a joint venture involving Gateshead Council, Galliford Try and Home Group and is part of a wider £350m initiative to improve the choice and quality of homes in the borough.
The Trilogy I project involved replacing pre-war semi-derelict houses and flats with 99 striking new homes and communal gardens. Of these, 20 went for shared ownership, 18 for affordable rent and 61 for private sale, through Galliford Try’s house building division – Linden Homes.
As well as new homes and an improved streetscape, the project gave 11 unemployed Gateshead residents the opportunity to get back into work and created three apprenticeships.
Cllr Malcolm Brain, Cabinet Member for Housing at Gateshead Council, said: “We’re delighted that the first phase of the Trinity development has been recognised by the RTPI.
“The project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved with a strong, collaborative working relationship between the council, developers and the local community. Over the last 10 years we’ve removed homes that were no longer fit for purpose, created local jobs, improved the environment and provided modern affordable homes that local people are proud to live in.”
Sales figures suggest that the development is so far proving popular with locals. Christine Curran, development director with GRP explains: “At the beginning of the project, detractors claimed that our new Saltwell homes would be out of the reach of local people.
“However, the high quality and spacious layouts, a competitive pricing structure and initiatives such as Help to Buy – which was utilised by 64% of buyers – has meant that the properties have sold to many local buyers.”
“76% of people have moved less than five miles to a new home at Trilogy and 59 per cent less than two. Over 60% of our new home sales were to first time buyers and it is fantastic that we have been able to offer the opportunity for local people to get onto the housing ladder.”
Mark Connor, senior delivery manager with Home Group North East and Yorkshire, said: “It’s heartening to see families choosing to stay in Gateshead, which is testament to the quality of the homes we have provided. This is a significant scheme that will contribute to our mission to build 10,000 new homes by 2021.”
The RTPI represents 25,000 planning professionals worldwide and promotes spatial planning, shapes policy and raises professional standards.