Biddick Hall Decent Homes Delight
Published by Michael Ord for South Tyneside Homes in Housing and also in Communities
. Left to right...Chris Jones (Project Manager South Tyneside Homes), Councillor Anne Walsh, Chris Noble (Decent Homes Manager), Councillor Tom Piggott, Graham Adams (Decent Homes Surveyor), tenants Margaret Allon, Gloria weedy and Elizabeth Tate, Mark Wh
South Tyneside Homes, the Arms Length Management Organisation that manages and maintains the Council’s 18000 homes has been running an extensive refurbishment programme to non-traditional homes in Biddick hall, South Shields.
This complex, ambitious three year programme has now come to an end. Phase three of the programme was completed in December, which has drawn to a close a £9.25 million pound investment to homes across the estate, which has been transformed with both internal and external works.
The improvements have drawn national recognition and praise from Government ministers as well as a silver award for “Considerate Contractor” for Health and Safety.
The works consisted of external insulation and render applied to the exterior of the homes, A-rated windows and doors, repairs to roofs, and the full range of internal improvements, including kitchens, bathrooms, electrical upgrades and efficient heating systems.
Phase Three of the work started in April 2012 and in total 362 homes have been improved during the three year period, which has been very challenging and intricate to deliver. 206 families moved into temporary homes while the work was carried out and this has been a very difficult piece of work for the Customer Liaison and Survey Team as many of the residents needed additional support.
The programme has been managed by the Decent Homes Delivery Team and the work completed by Esh Property Services.
From the extensive work carried out all residents will benefit from warmer homes, improved health and wellbeing and reduced fuel bills. Customer satisfaction has been excellent and South Tyneside Homes has received some fantastic feedback from very satisfied residents about the improvements that have transformed their homes and the visual appearance of the estate. The programme has also supported and assisted many residents who were in fuel poverty.
Part of the funding has been provided by energy company SSE (formerly Scottish and southern Energy) which has also included work to 36 private homes that were 100% funded.
Ward Members Councillor Tom Piggott and Anne Walsh joined officers from South Tyneside Homes and some local tenants to mark this milestone in the programme.
Elizabeth Tate of Chaucer Avenue said, “The kitchen and the bathroom are beautiful,” while Margaret Allon, from the same street said, “From my moving out to moving back, everyone’s been really good.”
Speaking about the improvements, Councillor Piggott said, “This is a tremendous job. It has completely changed the area and brought about an improvement in the residents’ lifestyles,” while Councillor Walsh added, “I’m very impressed and the workmanship is excellent. It’s altered the whole face of the estate.”
Graham Morgan, Operations Director of Esh Property Services said, “Our work with South Tyneside Homes at Biddick Hall has been carried out in three phases, to a total of over 450properties, as it was so extensive. We are very proud of our work and the fantastic feedback we have had from the residents. Many households have told us that their heating bills have already been halved and customer satisfaction feedback is over 94%. During the work we have also taken on 13 local people to train and work with us on the contract. I am delighted to say most are still employed and working very well.”
Ross Thomson, Energy Efficiency Manager at SSE added, “SSE is delighted to have been able to work with South Tyneside Homes during such an ambitious programme of refurbishment and energy efficiency improvement works. The funding provided by SSE is to help reduce carbon emissions within domestic properties across the company. To hear of the benefits enjoyed by the occupants of such properties in the South Tyneside area as a result of this is great news.”
Director of Investment for South Tyneside Homes, Mark Whittle said, “All three phases of the Biddick Hall estate have been major programmes in their own right and it’s marvellous to be receiving positive feedback from the residents as to how this work has transformed their homes and lives. The estate is looking so much better and we are especially proud of the fact that the homes are much warmer and more energy efficient.”