Picture the county of Durham and chances are its historic city, with its towering cathedral, or the rolling countryside to the west, will spring immediately to mind. But, instead, head east, where a whole new community is taking shape...
The harbour town of Seaham is having quite a moment. A quiet place with a legacy of mining and glass making, it can generally be said to have kept itself to itself – not on the tourist trail, its finer qualities long went unnoticed.
But that is changing, thanks largely to a newfound awareness and appreciation of its stunning coastline.
One of the most beautiful in the North East, along which the early 19th century romantic poet, Lord Byron, would walk from his marital home, Seaham Hall, it is also home to Tommy.
This unbelievably poignant statue of a First World War soldier by artist Ray Lonsdale, is displayed close to Seaham war memorial, on Terrace Green by the seafront.
Then there is the wildlife which has made its home on the cliffs and crags, not to mention fresh air and space in abundance.
Less than a half an hour drive from both Newcastle and Durham and sited on the East Coast train line, Seaham is well-placed for those looking for semi-rural living – and so it is not surprising it is the chosen location for a new, £250m garden village.
The development will create an entirely new community with well-designed, energy efficient houses surrounded by thriving wildlife havens – and almost 50 per cent of the site will be given over to open spaces and landscaped areas.
And Miller Homes North East, which is creating 72 three, four and five bed houses in its first phase of development, has already sold a third of those due to be built this year.
Although the concept of garden villages – well designed, healthy places with affordable homes – stretches back at least 200 years, the Seaham development is giving it a 21st century context.
And, along with the 375 new build homes Miller North East will build in total, the development will include a primary school, an innovation centre and a community hub.
Comprising a variety of house styles, the first Miller Homes properties are currently due for completion in late spring.
Selling is well underway from the company’s Trinity Green development at Pelton, County Durham prior to its show home opening at Seaham Garden Village later in the year.
“Buyers are clearly attracted by the location, the facilities and the space for families to grow and thrive,” said Lauren Angus, sales director, at Miller Homes North East.
“Garden Villages are unique, innovative and are ultimately, all about creating great places to live,” she said.
“Beautifully and imaginatively designed homes and additional community facilities will be at the forefront, but all sitting within a range of open space and landscaping.”
For more information about Miller Homes properties at Seaham Garden Village or at various other sites across the North East visit www.millerhomes.co.uk/locations/northeast-of-england