The East End of Newcastle is set to benefit from the latest stage in the area’s regeneration.
Work is well underway on Tree Top Village in Walker, which will create a brand new community, with a particular focus on people aged over 55. As well as new homes, the scheme will provide a whole host of amenities that are designed to help residents enjoy a vibrant lifestyle.
The development is part of Newcastle City Council’s Older People’s Housing Delivery Plan to provide a range of affordable housing options for older people. This £13m project is being funded by the council with a £2.3m contribution from the Homes and Communities Agency.
The project is being delivered by Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) who is working with national developer, Wates Living Space Homes. Resident involvement has been at the heart of the project and YHN has carried out consultation with local residents as well as local school children who took part in a competition to name the development.
All of the properties will be owned by the council and managed by YHN.
The development is being delivered in two phases. The main building will create a total of 75 new homes and will have warden support available for residents. There will be 45 two bedroom and 30 one bedroom apartments built around a central courtyard, where a range of services will be provided that will be open to everyone. Features being considered include a restaurant, IT facilities and a hair salon, and will encourage residents and the wider community to come together and socialise in a friendly, relaxed environment.
An additional 44 homes will be built next to the main building and will provide a mix of eight two bedroom bungalows, 12 one bedroom Tyneside flats and 24 two bedroom Tyneside flats.
All residents will benefit from brand new, spacious accommodation that has been built to high quality specifications and energy efficiency standards.
Wates Living Space Homes has committed to using its presence on the project to create employment and training opportunities for local people. This pledge has seen the developer support two bricklaying apprentices at the scheme, both of whom have successfully completed their apprenticeships. Wates has also appointed Commercial Management Trainee, Jack Ibbetson (pictured), to the project, who was recently nominated for a Chairman’s award for always going the extra mile in his role.
Tyler Massingham (pictured), who secured a bricklaying apprenticeship through NCT Skills for Life and has recently been offered full-time employment with Wates, said: “It’s been great working on a site with a team that has so much experience, which has really helped me develop my skills and put them into practice. To be offered a job is fantastic and goes to show that hard work and commitment pay off!”
Cllr Jane Streather, the council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Housing, said: “Our aim is to provide the highest possible standard of living for all our residents, and we’re delighted to be working with our partners in delivering this innovative new approach to modern living, the first of its kind in Newcastle.
“This development, in the heart of the Walker, will provide a wide range of choices to suit the individual needs of its residents, helping us to deliver on our commitment to create more balanced and inclusive communities, as well as local employment opportunities for local people.
“Apprenticeships provide an ideal opportunity for young people to gain practical, on the job experience, and I’m absolutely delighted that both Jack and Tyler have gone on to secure employment with Wates.”
David Langhorne, Director of Property Services at YHN said “This is the largest new build scheme we’ve embarked on in a number of years and it’s really exciting to be involved.
“We are extremely pleased with the standard of accommodation being provided and are now working with potential partners to secure a range of local amenities and create a real community feel.
“This is a unique opportunity to build on previous regeneration in the Walker area, and build modern, high quality homes for the city’s older residents”.
Joanne Jamieson, Managing Director of Wates Living Space Homes, commented: “Building homes is above all things an exercise in creating exceptional living spaces that improve quality of life for residents. Tree Top Village is an innovative example of how this can be achieved. Projects of this nature subsequently enable us to create a space for emerging industry talent to cut their teeth and it is heartening to see young members of the team lay the foundations for their future careers on this high profile project.”
The development is due for completion in Winter 2016.