Local News from North & South Tyneside

New life for former garages in Battle Hill

A set of old garages in Battle Hill have been turned into comfortable, affordable homes by North Tyneside Council.

The former garage sites, in Bellshill and Blackhill Close, have been refurbished in partnership with HUSK. They have been transformed in to nine two-bedroom bungalows across Battle Hill.

The garages had become an eyesore in the local area, but following the project, the site has been transformed and the first residents have now been welcomed into the homes.

The site was redeveloped using HUSK’s patented method in which the garage roofs are removed, and the walls are retained. Prefabricated 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 are 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. This contributes to the Council’s ambition to be carbon net zero by 2030.

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.

Dame Norma Redfearn DBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said: “Demand for housing in North Tyneside has always been high, and creating high-quality, affordable housing for our residents is one of our top priorities.

“People want to come and live in our borough as it’s such a great place to live, work and visit, which is why, as a council, we’ve committed to creating 5,000 affordable homes as part of our Affordable Homes Programme.

“I’m delighted with the progress we’ve made so far towards our goal and it was a real honour meeting some of the first residents and hearing their feedback.”

The development forms part of the council’s Affordable Homes Programme, which is a commitment by the Elected Mayor and Cabinet to deliver 5,000 affordable homes in North Tyneside. To date, over 2,000 homes have been delivered and the council is always looking at opportunities to increase this number.

Cllr John Harrison, cabinet member for Housing, said: “This scheme has allowed us to create an attractive, carbon-friendly housing development for our residents.

“HUSK’s method is a creative and cost-efficient way for us to get the most out of a disused site that would be difficult to get use out of otherwise, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to work alongside them once again.”

Russell Edwards, Managing Director for HUSK, said: “HUSK is dedicated to tackling the UK housing crisis head-on by pioneering sustainable, accessible homes within established communities like never before. Recognising the challenges faced by local authorities, such as North Tyneside, in providing affordable housing, our latest development exemplifies how innovative approaches like ours can significantly address this pressing need while fostering vibrant communities.

“Our designs breathe new life into neglected sites, offering a streamlined and cost-effective means to deliver environmentally efficient homes with a modern look and feel. With more than 60 people now living in a HUSK home across the North East, we look forward to bringing more sustainable living to the region.”

Previously, North Tyneside Council worked alongside HUSK on the newly-christened Falmouth Close, in North Shields – with the development winning ‘Best approach to modular housing’ at the Northern Housing Awards 2023.