8th July 2015
Greystoke celebrates launch of new homes during Rural Housing Week
Timed to co-inside with Rural Housing Week, Eden Housing Association and Greystoke residents celebrated the launch of three new village homes on Wednesday 8th July. The bungalows have been designed and built to meet the needs of older people. They include air source heating systems to help keep the cost of living in a rural location as affordable as possible.
Eden Housing Association is committed to providing affordable homes in rural areas and already has nineteen bungalows at Castle Gardens in Greystoke. The additional three properties named ‘Petteril Mews’, sit next door to Castle Gardens and were built on land previously siting six very small garages. Owned by the Association, the land was earmarked for redevelopment at a cost of over £410,000. £114,505 grant funding was received from the Homes & Communities Agency.
Living in rural locations can often be thought of as idyllic but, it can often come at a disproportionate cost. The high cost of utilities in off-gas supply areas, running a car where no regular public transport exists can lead to large weekly outgoings, not easy when disposable incomes are low.
These new two bedroomed bungalows in Greystoke are built to the Code for Sustainable Homes – Level 3, a standard for high efficiency. The individual air source heating systems provide thermostatically controllable underfloor heating throughout as well as hot water. The design also incorporates ‘Lifetime Homes’ standards, which means the bungalows are thoughtfully designed to be as accessible and convenient to use by the resident throughout their occupancy if and as their needs change over time.
At the launch of the new homes John Clasper, Managing Director of Eden Housing Association said “The nature of our location means rural housing is at our core, so it is very fitting that we are able to launch these three Greystoke homes during Rural Housing Week.
We develop a variety of new properties for young people, families and older members of the community. When we build new bungalows aimed at older residents, it very often leads to the release of larger properties to the family market and at the same time, provides homes that are easier to manage for older residents. Having spoken to Mr Huddleston, one of our new residents, it’s clear that this ‘chain reaction’ works effectively.”
“Rural development is often expensive, the cost per unit of these fine bungalows is no exception. It is difficult to achieve the economies of scale made elsewhere but this of course is often the tapestry of rural life. It is often three or four new quality built, affordable homes that can make the difference in a rural community. Building on our own land is one of the ways we have tried to manage costs here. We are immensely proud of the result.
“This is our third completed scheme in the last few months, following development of bungalows at Low Hesket and our extra care scheme providing nineteen apartments in Kirkby Stephen.”
Also speaking at the opening was Eden District Council’s Deputy Leader and Housing and Health Portfolio Holder, Councillor Lesley Grisedale who is also a Greystoke resident. She said: “I am delighted that Eden Housing Association has been able to complete the development of these three new two-bed bungalows at Petteril Mews in Greystoke. The bungalows offer modern, energy efficient homes for those over the age of 55. Providing affordable homes is an ongoing priority for the Council but this development being in a village location also means that they can help meet local demand for much needed affordable housing. We continue to work proactively with housing associations and local communities to ensure the housing being developed in the District meet the needs of our sparsely populated area. ”
After the official opening, guests were invited into two of the new bungalows belonging to residents Mrs Carruthers and Mr Huddleston. They were happy to show guests around their homes and answer questions, before everyone gathered in the village hall for afternoon tea.
One of the new residents opening their homes at the launch was Mr Brian Huddleston. For the last seven years he has suffered with life-threatening illness and ongoing poor health. Mr Huddleston had been living in a large three bedroomed property in Newbiggin, with a big garden. The maintenance of the house and limited ability to use upstairs meant he needed something more manageable and was relieved and overjoyed to be accepted for one of the Petteril Mews bungalows. Mr Huddleston said “It’s been a godsend. I’m also just a five minute walk from my sister who pops in every day, often with my great niece.
Having everything on one level has made a huge difference – especially having a walk in shower/wet room. The other big change is the heating – the cost of running my home is massively reduced, before I relied on electric and calor gas bottles, now there’s an air source heat pump and underfloor heating.”
Another resident showing visitors around her bungalow was Mrs Carruthers who also feels right at home. She said “I just love this house! There’s so much light and space and I have a really big largest kitchen diner which is great when my daughter and grandson call in so often. My late husband had a wheelchair, so from experience I know my new home can made life so much easier, especially as I get older. It has wide doors and plenty of space to get around, and it’s reassuring to know it can be adapted if necessary. I’ve lived in Greystoke for 18 years and plan to be here many more. I’m fiercely independent so having a home that is easy to manage long term is comforting – and I still drive, which is handy because lack of local buses would be an issue.”
The bungalows at Greystoke are subject to a planning condition known as a ‘Section 106 clause” which means preference is given to people already living within or a very short distance from Greystoke. This meant the third new resident was also able to move back to the village where her family live and work.
Eden Housing Association is seeking to work with a number of rural communities to create ‘local lettings policies’. These operate similarly to the planning condition and are aimed at giving a degree of reasonable priority to applicants with a strong local connection. Local lettings policies are already operating successfully in Glenridding and Alston and there are plans in the pipeline to work with other local communities.
For more information about Eden Housing Association visit www.edenha.org.uk or call 01768 861400.
Centre – Residents Mr Huddleston and Mrs Carruthers cut the ribbon with Councillor Lesley Grisedale EDC Deputy Leader and Housing and Health Portfolio Holder and John Clasper, Managing Director of Eden Housing Association.
Tracey Errington on 07799 640 290 or email [email protected]