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Garages to become affordable homes in North Shields

Draughty old garages from the 1950s are being converted into comfortable homes by North Tyneside Council.

The 52 garages on Falmouth Road, North Shields, are no longer in use and have become a hotspot for antisocial behaviour and flytipping. Now they are set to become nine two-bedroom bungalows with a low carbon footprint.

The council appointed the North Shields firm, HUSK, to redevelop the site using a patented method in which the garage roofs are removed, and the walls are retained. Pre-fabricated insulated timber framed walls are then erected with the elements of the home being created inside the void, including a kitchen, wet room, living and dining area. The design also incorporates a resident parking area and individual front gardens.

The homes will be eco-friendly with an insulated timber frame and roof, air source heat pump, and solar panels to help reduce the electric bills for new tenants.

The new homes will have an EPC rating of band A, and they will be compliant with Homes England and NDSS (National Described Space Standard) requirements, which dictate how much living space a home must have.

The £1.3m scheme is part of the council’s Affordable Homes Programme, which is a commitment by the Elected Mayor to deliver thousands of affordable homes for the borough. More than 1,650 homes have been completed in recent years and the council aims to create a further 2,350 homes with its partners by 2032.

Homes England Grant Funding has been obtained to help support the development.

Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE said: “Demand for affordable and good quality homes remains high in North Tyneside, particularly for bungalows, and we know that affordable homes are a priority for local people.

“This scheme is such a creative use of a redundant patch of land to deliver new homes, and I am very pleased we are able to tap into the ingenuity of a North Shields firm to find a solution for this site.

“The garages were built in the 1950s and have outlived their usefulness. They attract antisocial behaviour and flytipping and are a detriment to the community.

“This fantastic project will see the renewal of an eyesore patch of land to provide attractive, modern, affordable homes for the community. The concept is bold and inventive, and I look forward to seeing the completed scheme and further opportunities to work with HUSK on other projects.”

Councillor Steve Cox, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This is a creative and cost-effective way to provide new homes on a disused site, that is currently doing more harm than good for the community.

“As well as being too small to accommodate modern cars, the garages are in a poor state of repair and are lowering the tone of this area of North Shields.

“At a time when we face a severe housing shortage across the country and people’s energy bills are spiralling out of control, these new homes will be an attractive and environmentally-friendly addition to the community, with lower fuel bills for the tenants and a smaller carbon footprint.

“They are delivering on our key targets of building on brownfield sites, providing genuine affordable homes, tackling the climate emergency, and supporting local businesses to create jobs.

“This is the future of house building and the council is very proud to be onboard.”

HUSK was developed by architect Russell Edwards, who also runs Edwards Architecture based at the North Shields Fish Quay.

He said: “Our Patented method has become a popular way of re-purposing infill garage sites for local authorities and registered housing providers, and we are delighted to be working with North Tyneside Council to transform this previously undevelopable site into desirable homes as part of their affordable homes programme.”

The project is expected to be complete in Autumn 2022 and homes will be available to let through Tyne and Wear Homes.

Article written by North Tyneside Council