A DARLINGTON social landlord has announced £600,000 plans to improve nearly 300 homes in the town.

Railway Housing Association will install new central heating boilers, kitchens, bathrooms and doors in a five-year project to upgrade 291 properties and the Tempest Anderson House sheltered housing scheme.

The work, part of a wider £4.75m programme, will also include replacement fencing, windows and drainage, with Tempest Anderson House, in Brinkburn Road, fitted with a new warden call system and advanced fire safeguards.

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The improvements were agreed after the association consulted with residents, and work is expected to start on footpaths in Hundens Lane later this year.

Bosses have revealed they also expect to begin installing the warden control system at Tempest Anderson House and start work on fencing at properties in West Auckland Road before the end of the year.

The association, based in Garbutt Square, Neasham Road, Darlington, owns more than 1,340 rented homes across the North-East and Yorkshire, and said it was committed to providing tenants with quality accommodation.

Andrea Abbott, director of asset management for Railway Housing Association, said: “Maintaining our residents’ homes is the biggest single investment we make, but it is not just simply about installing a new boiler or a kitchen.

“We strive constantly to reduce our carbon footprint and seek to introduce environmentally friendly and energy saving measures as part of our planned maintenance programme.”

The company also revealed the replacement boiler programme, which they predict will save residents hundreds of pounds a year, will be rolled out in homes in Auckland Oval, Brinkburn Road, Geneva Drive, Meadowfield Road and Poplar Grove next year.

Ms Abbott said: “All of our homes meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard, but we are committed to undertaking planned improvements to our homes to make sure that they continue to meet the standard.

“The new boilers we are installing will produce up to three figure savings a year, which in the current economic climate we hope will be of great benefit to our residents.”