A developer has secured planning permission for a £175 million garden village development after a law firm helped it successfully defend a judicial review claim.
The South Seaham Garden Village project in County Durham is being delivered by contractor Tolent and its subsidiary Coolmore Land Limited, working closely with housing association Home Group.
Specialist planning lawyers from law firm Ward Hadaway’s built environment team provided advice during the planning application process and negotiated what is said to be a substantial Section 106 agreement on the contractor’s behalf. The team also worked closely with Home Group.
“This has been a significant project and one which fully demonstrates the range of skills and capabilities of our team,” said Melissa Flynn, an associate in the law firm’s built environment team.
“Our dedicated planning experts have worked with our client from initial concept, advising on legal matters around the planning, judicial review and section 106 agreement with colleagues in the wider built environment team also advising on the sale of the site to Home Group and other developers.
“The garden village scheme will significantly boost the local economy, providing quality affordable homes, investment, innovation and jobs. We are proud to have assisted Tolent in this significant development project and we look forward to seeing the development come to fruition.”
The 77.75-hectare development, which will be located close to the A19 near the Dalton Retail Park in Seaham, will bring 1,500 new homes of mixed tenures to the area. The development will also include shops, a café, a new primary school, a park and village square, community health and wellbeing village, community allotments and a business innovation and research hub surrounded by extensive green open space.
Working closely with Home Group, Tolent will build around 1,000 of the new homes, of which 750 will be “affordable” (representing 50% of the housing on the site) designed for a range of buyers from first-time buyers to those in need of assisted living.
Land for the remaining 500 homes will be sold on the open market with other national housebuilders likely to become involved.
The 10-year project is expected to be home to some 4,000 residents and will create an estimated 1,000 jobs. The garden village project is one of 19 schemes announced in the UK and development is expected to start on site this autumn.
“Receiving garden village status is befitting of such a great development that really will be a national exemplar,” said John Wood, director of Tolent. “Our vision to create a truly sustainable community with a mix of distinctive, high quality housing that improves quality of life is what we’re doing here, as well as creating jobs for the next decade and beyond.”
Main Image: Melissa Flynn, of Ward Hadaway’s built environment team, at the site of the proposed new garden village development in South Seaham, County Durham