IF you have been watching the new Swedish-style houses in Hartlepool’s Easington Road take shape over the past few months then you will have noticed that they are a little different to many homes already in the town.
For a start, these houses have quite literally come off the back of a lorry.
In a UK first for a development of this size, they were built using the Evolve system.
This sees the timber frames being constructed in a factory before being transported to site to have the brickwork skins and finishing touches added by builders Frank Haslam Milan.
As a result, the great British weather is less of a problem to the construction of the smart looking two, three and four-bedroom houses and bungalows on the estate,
In all, the £7m Easington Road development, which has been part funded by the Homes and Communities Agency to the tune of £1.85m, has 68 homes.
Housing Hartlepool, meanwhile, is being innovative with the way the homes can be occupied.
Would-be householders have the option of renting, renting to buy, shared ownership with Housing Hartlepool or outright ownership, depending on individual circumstances.
With building work coming to an end, and a handful of the properties already occupied, the Hartlepool Mail was given a “through the keyhole” tour of the show house on the scheme by Mark Dutton, head of regeneration for the Vela group, of which Housing Hartlepool is a part.
Mark said the development is design-led and four firms of architects were invited to submit blueprints to replace what he described as the “eyesore” of the previous houses on the site.
He said: “Easington Road is on the main route into Hartlepool from the north and is one of the first things people coming to the town or the marina see, so we wanted to lift the look of the area.”
Housing Hartlepool, which will remain landlord of the scheme, is certainly pleased with the result.
Head of development Sarah Fawcett said: “I’m delighted with how this development has turned out from the demolition of houses that were unpopular and past their best to these stunning, modern new homes which will provide energy efficiency, spaciousness and comfort for their occupants.
“The striking design of the scheme has drawn many positive comments from people and I feel it gives a real uplift to this prominent entrance to the town.
“I am very grateful for everyone’s dedicated input into delivering these new homes for residents in the area who helped choose the design, and to the constructors who have delivered this exciting new building product for the first time in Hartlepool.”
Rooms in the two-bedroom show house are generously proportioned, which is particularly noticeable in the large living room and master bedroom, which has a built-in wardrobe and space for a dressing table to the side of it, while still giving plenty of walk-around space.
The second bedroom, which also features a built-in wardrobe, even has a study area to accommodate those working from home or all the electronic toys now found in the typical teenager’s room.
Moving outside, all the gardens come with “secured by design” fencing to keep unwanted visitors out, and a lockable shed to keep bikes, mowers and other items in. The houses themselves are fitted with intruder alarms.
But not only are the homes smart in terms of appearance and finish, they are also smart when it comes to environmental sustainability.
This starts on the roof of the properties with solar panels and extends throughout, with features like toilets that need less water to flush as part of the overall reduction in carbon emissions designed to make the Easington Road homes highly energy efficient.
Hartlepudlians moving into the properties will find access to amenities is good with a planned retail development nearby and busy bus routes into the town
For young families, getting into a school’s catchment area is a big consideration when choosing where to live and Easington Road scores highly, with no fewer than three primary schools within a mile of the development and three secondary schools also nearby.