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New home feels like 'winning the lottery'

Bude Court

Designed to make family life easier, a couple and their young daughter are moving into a state-of-art bungalow created by North Tyneside Council, next week.

Michelle and Kevin Van Dam and their two-year-old daughter, Chloe, are all set to leave their small two-bedroom terraced house for a spacious bungalow.

Michelle is a wheelchair user and after her health deteriorated in recent years, she found it difficult living in a terraced house.

Their three-bedroom bungalow is part of the £1m Bude Court development, in Battle Hill, where nine new homes have been created.

Within the development, three bungalows have been sensitively adapted to make life easier for their residents, and six flats built as well.

The Bude Court project is also part of the local authority’s ongoing work to create 3,000 extra homes within 10 years, to meet the borough’s most urgent and future housing needs.

Speaking about her family’s new home, Michelle said: “I absolutely love our new bungalow and we’ve been so excited to move in – it’s like winning the lottery!

“Our previous house was quite small, which made day-to-day living difficult for me, and it had a through-floor lift for my wheelchair. It also had steps leading down to the garden and this meant I couldn’t take my daughter into the garden.

“With our new bungalow all being on one level, it makes it easier to be a mum to Chloe; I can take her outside to play and move around our home much more easily.”

On Tuesday, February 9, North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn and Cllr John Harrison, cabinet member for Housing and Transport, will hand over the keys to the Van Dam family.

Mayor Redfearn said: “I would like to wish Michelle, Kevin and Chloe happiness in their wonderful new home – to hear what a difference it will make to their family life is extremely heart-warming. I’d also like to wish the other residents moving into their new homes on Bude Court all the best.

“We’re extremely pleased with the development – all the homes are contemporary, inviting and designed with residents in mind.”

Cllr John Harrison added: “Demand for affordable housing – particularly for bungalows, single-bed properties and family homes – which is why we’ve made a commitment to building 3,000 extra affordable properties.

“Our affordable homes project is progressing well and we’re on track to reach 500 by this spring.”

The development at Bude Court includes three three-bedroom bungalows; three two-bedroom flats and three one-bedroom flats.

All the bungalows have been built with en-suite level access shower rooms and a separate bathroom, too. Solar panels have been fitted to help to keep residents’ fuel bills low.

The homes have been designed and built by Kier North Tyneside, on behalf of the council.

Kier regional director, Mike Furze, said: “We are proud to have delivered this bespoke project, which will be of significant benefit to local residents for years to come.

“By working in partnership with our colleagues at North Tyneside Council on their affordable homes programme, we are making a real difference to improving the quality of housing for residents across the borough.”

Each bungalow has been fitted with domestic sprinklers, which have been partially funded by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.