Keepmoat and Cestria work together on £6.5m County Durham housing project

More than 50 dwellings will be created as part of The Elms development for the over 55s in Chester-le-Street

CGI artwork of The Elms, the new Cestria development set to launch in Chester-Le-Street
CGI artwork of The Elms, the new Cestria development set to launch in Chester-Le-Street

Affordable housing specialist Keepmoat has secured a contract to create a £6.5m development in County Durham.

The firm, which operates across the North of England and Midlands with a Gateshead office covering the North East, is working in partnership with Chester-le-Street housing provider Cestria Community Housing to help meet demand for homes specifically for the over 55s.

After being awarded £1.76m of funding from the Department of Health’s Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund, the two companies are working together to create The Elms, a scheme consisting of 58 one and two bedroom apartments and two bedroom bungalows.

The development, off Moorfoot Avenue in Chester-le-Street, has been designed to provide high quality living accommodation for residents in flexible, supported surroundings, which is set close to the town centre so residents can remain independent while living in their own homes for as long as possible.

To ensure the homes meet the changing needs of residents, all units within the scheme will be built to comply with a number of design standards, including the Habinteg Wheelchair Design Guide, Lifetime Homes and Design Quality Standards, and are expected to achieve BREEAM Very Good rating for its low carbon design.

Richard Bass, homes regional managing director for Keepmoat in the North East, said: “With prices on the elms starting at just £112,500, we believe this housing development offers those aged 55 and over a great opportunity to continue to live independently, with the comfort of a local community right on their doorstep. “Residents will also benefit from the development’s communal lounge, café, landscaped gardens and on-site hairdressing salon.”

Martin Warhurst, managing director of Cestria Community Housing, said: “This is a flagship state-of-the-art development for the association.

“The design concept behind The Elms will not only change the general perception of older people’s housing, but also the lifestyle and wellbeing of this demographic in the future.

“The design is also dementia friendly in principal and aims to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. Locally, there is a severe shortage of high-quality housing for the over 55s, and the elms will go some way to meeting that strategic housing need.”

The Elms will launch with an open day on February 7 in the Cathedral Suite at Durham County Cricket Club, from 12pm to 3pm.

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