Official opening marks ‘new era of housing development’

Riverside resident Andy Thompson (centre) with project manager Andrew Robson (left) and the Duke of Northumberland at the housing development in Lesbury. Picture by Jane Coltman

The new Riverside housing development in Lesbury was officially opened by the Duke of Northumberland this week.

The event on Tuesday was attended by residents, Estate staff, parish councillors and representatives of the local contractors who helped to build the new scheme.

All were thanked by the Duke for their contribution to the project.

Construction began on this new residential development in the popular village in August last year.

The main aim of the project was to create modern, manageable accommodation of a smaller size, and yet a high standard, to provide older residents with the option to downsize should they so wish.

Planning was approved for the construction of eight two-bedroom houses, comprising five bungalows and three two-storey cottages. The central location was carefully chosen, allowing direct access on to the main street and so to village amenities.

Andrew Robson, who led the project for Northumberland Estates, said “This development signals a new era in residential development for Northumberland Estates.

“Villages such as Lesbury tend to have a range of large and more traditional styles of housing. With many of the once small cottages now extended and converted for family living, the older generation, a number of whom find themselves living alone, have little choice but to stay in a property which is really too big and perhaps difficult to manage or face moving some distance from family and friends.

“These new cottages provide an attractive alternative within the community and a number of retired estate staff have accepted the opportunity to relocate.

“In fact, such has been the popularity of the scheme, we are already on the lookout for potential sites to create similar-style developments in the local area.”

One of the new Riverside residents delighted with his new home is Andy Thompson, who worked as part of the security team at Northumberland Estates for more than 25 years, and whose late wife Val worked in the Estates office at Alnwick Castle.

Andy explained that although the thought of initially moving to a new and smaller property was daunting, when he walked through the door for the first time, it felt like coming home.

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