A major development scheme which will deliver new homes and employment opportunities to Darlington has been awarded Garden Village status by The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Burtree Garden Village in Faverdale is one of 19 large scale developments in the country to have been granted the status on Thursday (June 27).

The development will see 2,000 new homes built over a 15-year period as well as 200,000 sqm of employment space. It is anticipated the scheme will create over 6,000 jobs.

Work is expected to start on site in 2020 and the developer behind the scheme, Hellens Group, says that the Garden Village status will help the project to bring important economic, environmental and social benefits to the area.

The Garden Communities initiative was launched by Central Government in 2018 to help stimulate large scale new developments which will create sustainable communities for people to live and work.

Washington-based Hellens Group has been working with Darlington Borough Council to put together the design-led project which will include 500 new affordable homes. With an emphasis on green spaces and high quality landscaping, Burtree Garden Village will incorporate the development of a care home, retail facilities and space for a new primary school.

Gavin Cordwell-Smith, chief executive of Hellens Group, said: “It is tremendous news that Central Government has taken the decision to support our ambitious vision to create a new Garden Village community at Faverdale. Burtree Garden Village will have a transformational impact on the local area bringing much-needed new homes and jobs.

“We now look forward to working with all of the key stakeholders to bring forward this high quality development which will offer an outstanding place to live and work.”

Hellens Residential, which owns and manages a portfolio of over 150 properties for rent and low-cost home ownership, will play a key role in the delivery of affordable homes in the village.

Development of Burtree Garden Village will also include major infrastructure upgrades to help improve local connectivity in and out of Darlington.