THE first new homes built as part of a regeneration project on a Bishop Auckland estate are complete.

A dozen two-bed wheelchair-adaptable bungalows have been officially unveiled by believe housing in Howard Close, in the Woodhouse Close area.

The project aims to meet high demand for bungalows in the area and is part of a £70m investment in new affordable homes by believe housing.

Chief executive of believe housing, Bill Fullen, said: “These high-spec bungalows have been created to help meet specific demand for wheelchair adaptable bungalows in the Bishop Auckland area.

“It’s just the kind of development that our new-build programme was created to deliver. We’ve been able to take a compact and complicated site and turn it into quality new bungalows that local people really wanted to see. The private sector would be unlikely to even consider such a project, but it’s given us a great opportunity to show how not-for-profit housing associations like believe housing can really deliver for communities.”

Construction of the bungalows on a brownfield site has been carried out by Durham-based Esh Group.

Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman said: “Social housing makes up 20 per cent of the homes in County Durham, but only 291 new ones have been built in the last eight years.

"These new bungalows are a welcome addition, they have been beautifully designed and are very well thought out.”