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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Home Group steps in to finish Whitehaven housing estate

A ‘ghost’ housing estate which was abandoned half-built two years ago when a developer went bust is finally set to be completed.

The £1.8 million Jefferson Park, in Whitehaven, was left unfinished when the company behind it, Lancashire-based Jennyford, collapsed into receivership during the credit crunch.

Two-and-a-half years later, housing association Home Group has stepped in to buy the 24-home development and finally bring it life.

The homes were originally destined for private sale, but Home Group will make them available for social housing tenants.

The properties are at various stages of development, with some needing just finishing touches while others require major building work.

Kerry Dryden, Home Group’s assistant project manager, said: “It’s a shame that these houses were never completed at the time but I’m delighted that these properties will now be finished and made available for people who desperately need a home.

“We’re hoping to be able to have them ready for people to move into by early autumn.

“We know people have been wondering when someone would step in and take on this project and we are delighted to be able to do so.”

The estate boasts a mix of three and four bedroom family homes, one and two bedroom apartments and a two bedroom penthouse.

Home Group staff and contractors have been on site for two weeks drying out the properties before being able to start work.

George Clements, portfolio holder for housing on Copeland Council, said: “It’s great news that Home Group will be taking on this development and completing this housing.

“We look forward to seeing this progress and the properties becoming available to those who need them.

“We’re keen to support appropriate housing developments to ensure that supply meets the demand in the borough.”

Ian Tallentire, Home Group director of development, said: “This project just goes to show that at a time when private house builders are struggling to complete projects the social housing sector is using innovative methods to deliver high quality housing stock for families and single people.

“People living locally will be just as pleased as we are to know these properties will finally be completed.”

The development was named after the famous rum-trading Jefferson family of Whitehaven.

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