Village's £4.5 million Whitburn Towers project hits a high as homes for older residents take shape

A new £4.5 million housing development has reached its highest point, with a ceremony to mark the milestone.

An artist impression of how the development could look once construction is complete.
An artist impression of how the development could look once construction is complete.

Tolent is building the development, which is being constructed by a partnership between South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust, South Tyneside Homes and Homes England.

It is part of the work by the trust, which was set up in 2013 to build affordable housing for rent, as it provides independent living.

Ian Avis, contracts manager for Tolent, Owen Sunter project manager for Tolent, Ryan Tennet project delivery manager for South Tynesude Housing Ventures Trust, Coun Joyce Welsh, Richard Porthouse vice-chairman of the trust, Jason Crews head of asset and property services for South Tyneside Homes, Peter Davidson chair of the trust and Coun Tracey Dixon.

Tolent started on site in October 2018 and is constructing the two and three-storey apartment block, as well as a separate two-storey annexe at the rear.

Regional director for Tolent, Chris Price, said: “It’s always rewarding to know that we’re contributing to something hugely positive and needed by the local community, creating high-quality homes that will be here for many years to come.”

Team members from Tolent, the trust and South Tyneside Council were on site for the event, and were able to take in the coastal views from the roof.

Peter Davidson, chairman of the trust, said: “The project is on time, on budget and importantly our development relationship with Tolent has been excellent, with good communication and cooperation throughout.

Croftside Court, Whitburn, has been knocked down to make way for the new apartments.

“We have endeavoured to incorporate suggestions from all interested parties to provide accommodation of the highest order.

“The board of South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust are appreciative of the financial support we have received from South Tyneside Council and Homes England on this development and expect these high-quality social housing apartments to be available to let from May 2020.”

Tolent is also working on the £84.5 million Milburngate development in Durham and Hadrian’s Tower, soon to be Newcastle’s tallest tower and recently announced plans for a £190 million Garden Village in Seaham.

As well as 435 properties already built or in the pipeline, the not-for-profit company has also brought more than 43 long-term empty homes back into use for affordable rent, with a further 10 planned.