Today (November 7) saw the official opening of the new Riverside housing development in Lesbury by His Grace the Duke of Northumberland. Attending the event were residents, Estate staff, Parish Councillors and representatives of the local contractors who helped to build this exciting new development. All were thanked by the Duke for their contribution to the project.
August 2016 saw construction begin on this new residential development in the popular village of Lesbury near Alnwick. 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 on the Estate with the option to downsize should they so wish. The houses will be retained and managed by Northumberland Estates.
Planning was approved for the construction of eight two bedroomed houses comprising five bungalows and three two storey cottages. Although of a modern practical design which incorporates energy saving technology, the properties had to be in keeping with the traditional nature of the village. The central location was carefully chosen, allowing direct access on to the main street and so to village amenities.
Says Andrew Robson who led the project for Northumberland Estates, “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, 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 over 25 years, and his late wife Val also 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.