Major development underway at Middleton Hall

   WORK has started on a £9m scheme to create what are believed to be the first zero carbon retirement bungalows in the country.

Phase one of the scheme at Middleton Hall Retirement Village will see six of the planned 35 independent living homes built at the village’s beautiful 100 acre site, at Middleton St George, near Darlington, in County Durham.

The expansion of the village’s accommodation and facilities will create 45 new jobs and includes plans for an orangery with a cafe, bar and farm shop, which will sell produce grown at Middleton Hall and by local organic farms.

Builders have already finished work on the gatehouse – a two-bedroom prototype zero carbon home – which gives a taste of how the bungalows will look and feel. Each home will be fitted with wood burning stoves, triple glazed windows and thick insulation as well as solar thermal panels and electricity generated from PV (photovoltaic) panels.

Demand is so high for the bungalows that the first four have already been sold ahead of construction starting on the first phase, due for completion early next summer.

Work started on the groundworks for the new bungalows this week. The foundations are expected to be laid in September this year with completion of phase one by next May.

Jeremy Walford, managing director of Middleton Hall Retirement Village, said:

“It’s exciting to see work starting on the new bungalows. We want Middleton Hall to be thought of as the best retirement village in the UK and for us, the way to do that is to keep coming up with innovative developments which will enrich people’s lives.

“Our aim is to create a dynamic community and a place where residents can invite their children and grandchildren to enjoy the facilities with them – whether it’s a round of golf, a game of boules, wildlife walk or a meal in the restaurant.”

Middleton Hall was founded in 1900 and work began 100 years later to transform it from a nursing home to a retirement village.

The village currently provides for independent living, assisted living, residential care, and nursing care through 49 apartments, 32 bedsitting rooms and 20 specialist rooms.

It has a wide range of facilities including its own swimming pool, spa and gym – with personal trainers on hand to help residents keep fit and healthy – as well as a library, restaurant and bowling green.

The new homes will be set next to beautiful woodland with a wetland area and a large duck pond designed to attract wildlife.

According to National Home Energy Rating Software, energy costs for heating, hot water, lighting, cooking and use of appliances should be outweighed by income from the Feed-in-Tariff.

“One of the worries for older people is paying for increasing energy bills on fixed incomes,” added Jeremy.

“The fantastic thing about the bungalows is that buyers know they won’t have costly energy bills to pay and could even make money from the Feed-in-Tariff income.”

Pic caps: From left, managing director Jeremy Walford and construction manager Graeme Bell on the site of the new development.

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