Ribbon cut on new affordable housing development in Darwen

Published Monday 18 December 2023 at 11:38

The Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council has helped officially cut the ribbon on more than 60 new and affordable homes at the £9.6million Heathfields development in Darwen. 

The Great Places homes, a mix of shared ownership and affordable rented properties, form part of a much larger, new neighbourhood being developed by East Lancashire-based McDermott Homes.

The Miner’s Gate site, formerly the Ellison Fold Colliery, off Ellison Fold Way, was brought forward by Blackburn with Darwen Council and, once completed, there’ll be a total of 353 new homes there. 

To be able to develop the land, the Council invested in a new £3million East Darwen Link Road through the Growth Deal 3 funding.

The new road made the site accessible and ensured that the homes would be well connected to the town centre and local amenities as well as the M65 and other key routes.

Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, Councillor Quesir Mahmood, Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Growth and Development, and ward councillors joined Helen Spencer, Executive Director for Growth at Great Places Housing Group, as well as representatives from McDermott’s to celebrate the development being being officially opened. 

Helen said:

This development has proved to be hugely popular; there was strong demand and all 22 shared ownership homes sold very quickly.

There was also substantial demand for the rental homes.

It’s been great to work with McDermott Homes, the Council and all the partners on this project to deliver high quality new homes in a true mixed tenure setting where there have been a range of options to move-in. 

It was lovely to meet new residents who are enjoying their homes and have already formed a new community, the site illustrates what the power of partnership can achieve and what new homes can mean in changing people’s lives.

Money from the Section 106 agreement for Miner’s Gate helped pay for the popular new playground at Blacksnape Playing Fields which opened in 2022.

Councillor Phil Riley added:

I’m delighted to see this fantastic development of quality, new homes completed – providing much-needed affordable homes for our local residents.  

It was well documented that this was a difficult scheme in the early days, but meeting the residents today and seeing firsthand how their new homes have changed their lives really does make it all worthwhile.

We know that improving the quality of housing in our borough is one of the very best ways to help improve lives of our residents and better their life chances and this really is a good example of that.

Once again, this is also showing the worth of strong partnership working – something we are proud of and renowned for in Blackburn with Darwen and I’d like to thank Great Places and McDermott Homes for their on-going commitment to delivering high-quality housing in our borough.

Darwen is set to benefit from £100m of new investment through the Town Deal, including significant funding for the town centre, new jobs and improving sporting facilities.

The Town Deal is part of the Council’s ambitious £1bn vision for the future and its mission to create a more prosperous borough where no-one is left behind.

You can read more at: www.discoverbwd.com

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