A GROUP of engineering students from Darlington College are being tasked with a rather unique project after an approach by homebuilder Homes by Esh to design a pair of bespoke metal gates at one of Darlington’s most exclusive property developments, Woodburn Gardens.

The development, located on the site of the former Woodburn Nursery near Coniscliffe Road in Darlington, is currently under construction by Homes by Esh and will deliver 25 large detached homes when complete.

The students are part of the college’s advanced apprenticeship programme and have been tasked with designing decorative metal gates to provide access from Woodburn Gardens into West Cemetery via the traditional brick wall which encircles the development’s perimeter.

The brief tasks students to create two gates of up to 3m wide that incorporate the history and heritage of the local area into their decoration and design. The winning gate design will be manufactured locally before being installed at the site.

“Woodburn Gardens is encircled by the kind of distinctive brick wall you would find in many traditional Victorian walled gardens and there seemed a clear opportunity for the sizeable metal gates we installed to offer some local significance to the area,” said Colin Willetts, deputy managing director of Homes by Esh. “We are looking for a design that blends in with the wider development but also gives local students a chance to flex their design muscles and create a visual installation that will really stand the test of time for future residents of Woodburn Gardens.

“It made sense to work with the engineering department of Darlington College, given their extensive experience with CAD design. We are looking forward to seeing the initial designs before the public helps us choose the winning gates.”

The shortlisted designs created by the students will be shared online and the winning gate chosen as part of a voting process via the Homes by Esh and Darlington College social media platforms. The winning design will be on site by the summer of 2019.

The students involved in the project visited the development in March to research the position of the gates and assess the design implications of the site as well as to look for inspiration in the local area.

Neil Bowen, the curriculum manager for Engineering and Science at Darlington College, said: “This type of support from local employers is exactly what our students require as it provides them with greater insight and exposure into the needs of our local industry. The apprentices have taken up the task with gusto.”

The shortlisted gate designs are expected to be available online to vote for this summer.

Eight of the properties at Woodburn Gardens have now been sold, with a selection of four and five-bedroom properties still available to purchase. The development will feature six different house types in total. They will start from £399,995 and offer high spec contemporary-style living.

For more information on properties at Woodburn Gardens please contact Homes by Esh on 01325 360044 or visit homesbyesh.co.uk.