HOMES ENGLAND ANNOUNCES £43MILLION INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT TO SUPPORT BURTREE GARDEN VILLAGE
Homes England is to make a £43 million investment to create the infrastructure required to enable the development of Burtree Garden Village in Darlington as part of the Government’s Levelling Up plans.
Burtree Garden Village will see 2,000 new homes built during a 20-year period as well as up to 200,000 sqm of employment space incorporating a new public park and nature reserve. 750 homes, along with the Homes England-funded infrastructure, form part of a phase one planning application, which has been submitted.
The infrastructure will open up the wider Garden Village site and establish the development’s quality through early development of the highways, sustainable travel links, green infrastructure, with almost half of the site comprising of green open space.
Homes England owns just under 307 acres at the Garden Village site, acquired between 2020 and 2022 having entered into a joint venture with local SME developer Hellens Group. Hellens Group includes a registered provider of social housing business. Darlington Borough Council own 70 acres at the site and all parties will work together to deliver the upfront infrastructure and affordable housing at Burtree.
Hellens Group successfully obtained Garden Communities status from the government for the Burtree site in July 2019 and a proposed mixed-use allocation was included within the Darlington Borough Council Local Plan, which was formally adopted in March 2022.
Homes England, Hellens Group, and the council have spent a significant amount of time reviewing and refining the masterplan, to ensure that it meets Homes England’s acceleration, design quality and placemaking ambitions. The infrastructure will open up the wider Garden Village site and will help in establishing the development’s quality through early development of the highways, sustainable travel links, green infrastructure, with almost half of the site comprising of green open space. The proposed local centre, later living accommodation and park is to be constructed at the centre of the development and is key to establishing the sense of place and enhancing the desirability of the adjacent homes.
Located between Newcastle and York, Darlington is a key levelling up area that has huge growth ambitions and strong demand for new homes. The project is an example of the ways Homes England can catalyse further growth, building upon the construction of the HM Treasury North campus in the town, by delivering housing whilst supporting the wider regeneration ambitions of Darlington Borough Council , Tees Valley Combined Authority and the wider region.
Marie Kiddell, head of planning and enabling for Homes England in the north of England, said “the funding that Homes England has secured for the Burtree project is vital for the delivery of the Garden Village and the creation of this landscape led mixed use development”.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Hellens and the council in progressing the site through planning and supporting the delivery of much needed new homes in Darlington”.
Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of Hellens Group, said: “Burtree Garden Village is a ground-breaking partnership between Homes England and Hellens Group, to accelerate housing delivery in one of 43 official Garden Communities across the country.
“Garden villages are essential to the growth of towns like Darlington, not just because they bring much-needed homes, including affordable properties, but because they put beauty and nature at the heart of design and infrastructure – the support of local MP, Peter Gibson, has been invaluable.
“We are delighted to be working closely with Homes England in delivering this exciting project.”
Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, added, “Burtree Garden Village reflects this Council’s ambitions for growth. With the arrival of the Darlington Economic Campus along with many other exciting investments means the need for high quality housing in a fantastic development is needed more than ever.
“I am so pleased that our partnership work with Homes England has led to such an exciting development which will certainly put Darlington on the map as a place to live for many years to come”.
Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, added, “I am delighted to see Homes England making the necessary investment into the Burtree Garden Village to unlock this exciting new Garden Village, which will provide homes, infrastructure, public amenities and jobs in the Northern part of Darlington, as our town continues to grow.”
The formal planning application for the Burtree Garden Village has been submitted to Darlington Borough Council by developer, Hellens Group and Homes England, the government’s housing accelerator.