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Home Group customers celebrate new homes and Prince George’s birthday

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Home Group customers celebrate new homes and Prince George’s birthday

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Published by M Parker for Home Group in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government

Home Group customer David Lumsden and Ian Tallentire, Home Group director of development operations Home Group customer David Lumsden and Ian Tallentire, Home Group director of development operations

RESIDENTS of a new multi-million pound affordable housing development have held a street party to celebrate moving into their new homes and mark the first birthday of Prince George.

Affordable housing provider Home Group has built 24 new homes on the site of a former swimming pool in Gateshead.

Construction on the homes, by Galliford Try Partnerships North (GTPN), started shortly after Prince George was born last year and to mark the momentous birth, Home Group decided to name the development Prince George Square, in honour of the future monarch.

Now that the first of the homes have been completed, the affordable housing provider hosted a small street party to provide new neighbours with a chance to get to know each other. The party was held on the young Prince’s first birthday.

Ian Tallentire, Home Group director of development operations, said: “It’s not often we witness the birth of a future King and we wanted to mark the occasion in a lasting way. The homes we have built here will last a number of lifetimes and we hope the generations who come to live here will feel a real part of the community.

“The party we held today is the first part in forging that community. It gave customers a chance to get to know each other. As a not-for-profit housing provider it’s important to Home Group that we not only provide high quality homes for people to live in but that we also build strong communities.”

The £2.5m project has seen the houses and flats built on the site of the former Felling Pool which was demolished in 2011. The site was identified by Gateshead Council as an area where it wanted to see affordable homes provided. The two and three bedroom homes have all been made available to people on local housing waiting lists.

One of those was David Lumsden, his partner Hayley Mictchinson and their three children, Shannon 16, Chloe 12 and Keane, nine.

The family had been living in a two bedroom house in the Felling area. David, 33, said: “Having a three bedroom home has made a huge difference to our quality of life.

“The kids are at an age where they shouldn’t ideally be sharing so Keane now has his own bedroom. The house is very modern and we have a lovely garden.”

David planted a communal tree with Ian to officially mark the 1st birthday of Prince George and the official unveiling of homes in Prince George Square.

David Aston, GTPN Contracts Manager, said:  “We are delighted to have worked with Home Group on an initiative to improve the quality and choice of affordable homes in Gateshead. Developments such as this one account for an increasing percentage of our work programme, which is something we welcome.”

Gateshead Council cabinet member for housing, Cllr Malcolm Graham, said: “This development is a fantastic example of how a brown field site can be brought back into use to provide high quality housing for local people. Demand for homes is probably at its highest for decades.

“This is a really important project for the area too, representing a new era for the heart of the neighbourhood. The choice of Prince George Square feels very appropriate.”

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