Stylish retirees snap up first phase of Waterside

STYLISH older buyers have snapped up the initial phase of the country’s first zero carbon retirement bungalows.

The new owners of the first eco properties at the award-winning Middleton Hall Retirement Village, near Darlington, County Durham, have been attracted by the minimal energy costs, sense of space and the peaceful surroundings.

The ‘Waterside’ development is set within 17 acres of secure, beautiful woodland with a wetland area and a large duck pond designed to attract wildlife.

Following the sell-out first phase, phase 2 of the development has now been released with a beautiful show home available for viewing for those wanting to see the bungalows for themselves.

The coveted properties have been designed to take advantage of the rural views with spacious living rooms opening onto landscaped terraced gardens via French patio doors.

Each of the bungalows are fitted with wood burning stoves, triple glazed windows and thick insulation as well as solar thermal panels and electricity generated from PV (photovoltaic) panels.

The sell out first phase fits with recent Press reports that the ‘grey pound’ is the most powerful force in the housing market with retirees today wanting chic and sustainable homes when downsizing.

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

“These properties are not the traditional kind of retirement bungalow which is what’s attracted so many people to them in the first place.

“They love the idea that they’re buying something new and sustainable, with extra space to entertain their friends and family combined with low running costs.

“And while they are independent living bungalows, they know there is a close sense of community here and they can head off to the spa, have a meal in the Orangery or a game of pitch and putt if they want. Or disappear around the world and come back knowing their property is secure.”

The Waterside properties start at two bedrooms but extra space can be created with dormer rooms which take further advantage of the outstanding views.

While the views are rural, the village itself is situated only a few miles from Darlington and Yarm, in Teesside.  The residents benefit from a minibus service to local shops each week.

The buyers are expected to move into the Waterside next month with builders already working on the second phase of the 35 homed development. Prices start from £289,500.

According to National Home Energy Rating Software, the highly insulated properties’ energy use for heating, hot water, lighting, cooking and appliances should be balanced by the electricity generated and income from the Feed-in-Tariff.

The £9m expansion of the village’s accommodation and facilities has included creating a new Orangery with a cafe, bar and farm shop, which will sell produce grown at Middleton Hall and by local organic farms.

Middleton Hall was founded in 1900 and work began 100 years later to transform it from a care home to a retirement village. It provides a wide range of accommodation which allows residents to move between facilities should their needs change.

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

It also 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 and restaurant. The grounds feature an all weather bowling green, croquet, pitch and putt, golf course, putting green and boules pitch.

Middleton Hall’s outstanding facilities consistently set it apart from other retirement village. It was judged Best Continuing Care Retirement Community in the UK in the 2011 Over 50s Housing Awards & Finalist Best Independent Living 2012 Pinders Health Care Awards.