A RUN-DOWN pub site has been transformed as a new affordable housing scheme welcomes its first residents.
Work is now complete on developing 22 affordable homes in Mile Road, Widdrington Station, following the demolition of the former Willows pub.
The scheme, by Two Castles Housing Association, offers properties to rent and for sale under the Government’s Homebuy Shared Ownership scheme, with a mix of two-bedroom bungalows and two and three-bedroom houses.
Plans for the housing were granted following community concerns about the derelict pub, which was described as a fire risk, drinking and drugs den and an eyesore.
The properties have been designed to meet Sustainable Homes Level 4 standards.
Two Castles Property Services Director Rob Brittain said: “This development is providing much needed affordable housing for this area and is bringing back into use the former pub site, which due to a lack of demand had been unused for five years.
“There is a demand in villages like Widdrington Station for high quality affordable homes to rent and buy and we are very pleased to announce that this fantastic new development will go some way towards meeting that need in the area.
“The provision of affordable housing is a high priority for Two Castles and we have worked closely with our partners on this development for the benefit of the local community.”
The development, named Beaumont Court, was built by Esh Property Services, while HMH Architects and Elliott Associates were also involved in creating the scheme.
Widdrington Station and Stobswood Parish Council worked closely with the developers and the neighbouring Area Training and Activity Centre (ATAC) provided support throughout the design period.
Northumberland County Council and the Homes and Communities Agency provided support and funding.
Esh Chairman David Halfacre said: “We were delighted when Two Castles was able to take up the opportunity of carrying out the development at Widdrington Station.
“We had, over many months, been working to create a plan for the site which would meet both local needs, in terms of housing and planning, and wider strategic housing issues.
“We’re very proud that those aims have been achieved and of the new homes we have created.
“We wish the new residents all the very best for many happy times in their new homes.”
County Executive Member for Housing Tom Brechany added: “This is an excellent example of partnership working, which has provided much needed affordable housing on a surplus site.
“There has been understandably high demand for the attractive homes, which will also be cost effective to run due to their energy saving features.”
For more information about the development visit www.twocastles.org.uk