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First-Time Buyers Move into New Homes in Douglas 7 September 2005

    A distinctive new housing development has just been completed at Linden Gardens, off Victoria Road Douglas, providing 40 two bedroom homes for First-Time Buyers. The development is a joint venture between the Department of Local Government and the Environment and J G Kelly Homes Ltd. The Department’s architectural office designed the scheme and obtained planning approval, then invited competitive bids from developers to build and sell the properties. J G Kelly Homes have just completed the sixteen houses and twenty-four apartments and all the properties have now been sold to the Department’s nominees from the First-Time Buyer Register.

    The Department’s Architect, John Wilkinson, said

    ‘This is an attractive site in a good location close to the centre of Douglas and the Department wanted to maximise its potential. The sinuous crescent of houses fits naturally onto the site and provides a good area of communal open space in front of the development. The curved theme was carried over into the design of the balconies, porch roofs and porthole doors. A number of people have remarked that the development has a nautical feel, which fits in well with its location overlooking Douglas Bay’.

    Peter Thompson from J G Kelly Homes commented

    ‘I am delighted to have completed this, our fifth First-Time Buyer scheme in partnership with the Department. It is good to know that we are making a significant contribution to the provision of affordable housing on the Island’.

    There was, as expected, a large amount of interest in purchasing the properties from people who are on the First-Time Buyer Register. Richard Senior, Director of Estates and Housing, said

    “It was a difficult job allocating properties because over 500 people had registered Douglas as their first preference area for a new home. The houses and apartments have been sold to a mix of single people and couples who have local connections with Douglas through work, family or existing accommodation”. He went on to say, “I appreciate that there were a large number of disappointed applicants but I can assure them that there is a commitment by the Department to build more homes in Douglas and the rest of the Island. 28 apartments at Sycamore Grove in Pulrose are currently being sold to first-time buyers and 116 homes will be built on our site at Johnny Watterson’s Lane. In addition, the Department is working with developers such as Heritage Homes, JG Kelly and Hartford Homes, to build a further 120 homes over the next two years, on sites that have planning permission” .

    The 1100 applicants on the First-Time Buyer Register will be receiving a newsletter in October that sets out the Department’s plans for building affordable housing over the next three years.

    On the evening of 7th September 2005 the Department’s political members and officials and local MHKs had the opportunity to meet the new owners at an informal event to celebrate the completion of the scheme. Mrs Anne Craine, MHK, who is the political member responsible for housing, viewed some of the completed homes and planted a tree to mark the occasion. She said,

    “This is a very pleasing development and much credit is due to John Wilkinson for his excellent design work”.

    7th September 2005

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