Scores of one-bedroom flats to be built in central Darlington

The Northern Echo: L-R: Cllr Veronica Copeland, Lesley Conroy, Michael Conyard (DBC), Iain Sim, Ronny Harris L-R: Cllr Veronica Copeland, Lesley Conroy, Michael Conyard (DBC), Iain Sim, Ronny Harris

SCORES of one-bedroom flats will be created when a former tax office is transformed this summer.

The 47 town centre properties are set to be housed in Darlington’s Regent House, which has stood empty on the town’s Commerical Street for several years.

Flats built as part of the development will, once finished, be offered as social housing.

Demand for one-bedroom properties in the region has grown dramatically since the implementation of the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ left many single people classed as under-occupying their homes.

The flats at Regent House are being built in partnership with Darlington Borough Council by Coast & Country Housing as part of their Empty Homes project, which aims to address the issue of long-term empty homes while providing training, volunteering and work opportunities.

The development will be funded by the national Homes and Communities Agency, which provides investment for new affordable housing and the improvement of existing social housing.

Iain Sim, chief executive of Coast & Country Housing said: “Bringing empty properties back into use has a very positive effect on the local community.

“By contributing to the regeneration of area, tackling disrepair, bringing about improvements to the neighbourhood and alleviating concerns about semi-derelict properties and their role in attracting anti-social behaviour and crime, Coast & Country aims to build stronger communities for the future.”

He added: “This exciting partnership with Darlington Borough Council will bring Regent House back to life and provide quality, affordable housing.”

Situated in a prime town centre location, the properties are expected to be ready for occupation by spring next year with building work scheduled to begin at the end of the month.

The development has been welcomed by Councillor Veronica Copeland, the council's cabinet member for adult social care and housing.

She said: “I welcome the start of this project. There is a strong demand for one bedroom properties in Darlington and the refurbishment of Regent House will enable the council to meet this need.

“Working with Coast & Country enables us to bring back into use an empty building and offer local people modern accommodation in a central location close to shops and workplaces.”

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:15pm Sun 15 Jun 14

BMD says...

Let’s scratch a little deeper,

Regent House was acquired by the Council for the Oval Shopping Centre - Which has fell on its head, due to no large retailers are interested in the low shopping foot fall in Darlington.

The employees at the Regent House Tax office were transferred to Thornaby, thus reducing the town centre shopping foot fall even more.

Now the embarrassed Council has dreamt up a back-up plan after years of being the custodian of the empty building at the expense to the council tax-payers.

Councillor Veronica Copeland, Lesley Conroy, Michael Conyard (DBC), Iain Sim and Ronny Harris may be all smiles, but I am afraid this article only highlights their complacency.
Let’s scratch a little deeper, Regent House was acquired by the Council for the Oval Shopping Centre - Which has fell on its head, due to no large retailers are interested in the low shopping foot fall in Darlington. The employees at the Regent House Tax office were transferred to Thornaby, thus reducing the town centre shopping foot fall even more. Now the embarrassed Council has dreamt up a back-up plan after years of being the custodian of the empty building at the expense to the council tax-payers. Councillor Veronica Copeland, Lesley Conroy, Michael Conyard (DBC), Iain Sim and Ronny Harris may be all smiles, but I am afraid this article only highlights their complacency. BMD
  • Score: 18

12:34pm Sun 15 Jun 14

David Lacey says...

You may well be right. But the availability of so much nice new one bedroom accommodation will help with the relocation of people with spare bedrooms and rehousing of families living in cramped premises. Win-win except for the lefties who will find fault.
You may well be right. But the availability of so much nice new one bedroom accommodation will help with the relocation of people with spare bedrooms and rehousing of families living in cramped premises. Win-win except for the lefties who will find fault. David Lacey
  • Score: 14

12:44pm Sun 15 Jun 14

JJ2000 says...

I think the question is 'will the accommodation be affordable?'
Rent and buying prices are going stupid again because of one city in-particular, and this is again having the knock on effect of causing 'normal' house and flat costs to soar.
If DBC are in control of these flats will the rent be at a sensible level or will they do the old 'average price' money grabbing trick caused by the Capitals' narcissistic greed?
I think the question is 'will the accommodation be affordable?' Rent and buying prices are going stupid again because of one city in-particular, and this is again having the knock on effect of causing 'normal' house and flat costs to soar. If DBC are in control of these flats will the rent be at a sensible level or will they do the old 'average price' money grabbing trick caused by the Capitals' narcissistic greed? JJ2000
  • Score: 10

5:49pm Sun 15 Jun 14

stiv says...

As long as the well established but vulnerable people of Darlington get offered the flats first then i am for it.
As long as the well established but vulnerable people of Darlington get offered the flats first then i am for it. stiv
  • Score: 2

7:16pm Sun 15 Jun 14

LUSTARD says...

looks like a prison will be occupied by same and fortunatelly no neighboutrs to listen to the crap, positive note its close to the job centre and pubs.
looks like a prison will be occupied by same and fortunatelly no neighboutrs to listen to the crap, positive note its close to the job centre and pubs. LUSTARD
  • Score: 11

7:34pm Sun 15 Jun 14

Savant_NE says...

Should have been used to create jobs , not recoup housing benefit.
The department of education was willing to move jobs from Darlington to Newcastle without a thought , Darlington council should have give them a bloody nose and told them to transfer ALL the department from Newcastle to Darlington , just for suggesting such a ludicious idea.Regent House could have been used for generating that employment.
Should have been used to create jobs , not recoup housing benefit. The department of education was willing to move jobs from Darlington to Newcastle without a thought , Darlington council should have give them a bloody nose and told them to transfer ALL the department from Newcastle to Darlington , just for suggesting such a ludicious idea.Regent House could have been used for generating that employment. Savant_NE
  • Score: 3

8:53am Mon 16 Jun 14

mikyman says...

At last some faint hope that this council will start to use 'brownfield' sites instead of concreting over every piece of green space they can find.
At last some faint hope that this council will start to use 'brownfield' sites instead of concreting over every piece of green space they can find. mikyman
  • Score: 0

10:04am Mon 16 Jun 14

Luther95 says...

BMD wrote:
Let’s scratch a little deeper,

Regent House was acquired by the Council for the Oval Shopping Centre - Which has fell on its head, due to no large retailers are interested in the low shopping foot fall in Darlington.

The employees at the Regent House Tax office were transferred to Thornaby, thus reducing the town centre shopping foot fall even more.

Now the embarrassed Council has dreamt up a back-up plan after years of being the custodian of the empty building at the expense to the council tax-payers.

Councillor Veronica Copeland, Lesley Conroy, Michael Conyard (DBC), Iain Sim and Ronny Harris may be all smiles, but I am afraid this article only highlights their complacency.
I think that's mostly wrong...

The Inland Revenue had been loooking to get out of Darlington for some time (as part of its national closure programme.) It was going to happen anyway.

The Council didn't buy Regent House, but developers and the Council saw the site as being part of a wider scheme to provide leisure, retail and a MSCP to regenerate the Commercial Street end of the town centre.

That fell through when a single large department store 'anchor' for the site could not be found. (Debenhams continue to look at the North Echo offices premises. The cinema is now being built on Feethams)

This scheme seems a good way of recycling a redundant building in Darlington, bring residents into the heart of the town, which should help with the vitality of the town centre too.
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Let’s scratch a little deeper, Regent House was acquired by the Council for the Oval Shopping Centre - Which has fell on its head, due to no large retailers are interested in the low shopping foot fall in Darlington. The employees at the Regent House Tax office were transferred to Thornaby, thus reducing the town centre shopping foot fall even more. Now the embarrassed Council has dreamt up a back-up plan after years of being the custodian of the empty building at the expense to the council tax-payers. Councillor Veronica Copeland, Lesley Conroy, Michael Conyard (DBC), Iain Sim and Ronny Harris may be all smiles, but I am afraid this article only highlights their complacency.[/p][/quote]I think that's mostly wrong... The Inland Revenue had been loooking to get out of Darlington for some time (as part of its national closure programme.) It was going to happen anyway. The Council didn't buy Regent House, but developers and the Council saw the site as being part of a wider scheme to provide leisure, retail and a MSCP to regenerate the Commercial Street end of the town centre. That fell through when a single large department store 'anchor' for the site could not be found. (Debenhams continue to look at the North Echo offices premises. The cinema is now being built on Feethams) This scheme seems a good way of recycling a redundant building in Darlington, bring residents into the heart of the town, which should help with the vitality of the town centre too. Luther95
  • Score: 7

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree