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12 Aug 2022

Northstone unveils DIY SOS-inspired new build homes for families with dependent relatives

Housebuilder Northstone has revealed its first ever adapted new build home inspired by the BBC’s hit series DIY SOS.

Named ‘Jacob’s Place’, the four-bedroom family home is fully accessible, featuring an additional downstairs bedroom with adjoining shower room. It’s designed specifically for those with disabilities or care-dependent family members.

The home is a labour of love for the team, in particular Chief Executive Phil Wilson. ‘Jacob’s Place’ is a touching tribute to his late son, who needed an accessible home to make his life as comfortable as possible.

The first property is set to be complete this summer at Northstone’s Silkash site in Westhoughton, Bolton, with plans to feature at least one such home where possible at further communities. They include sites in Wigan and Ellesmere Port - set to launch in September – and further locations in Bolton.

The house – an adapted version of the company’s homes – is inspired by the BBC’s popular makeover show, which sees an army of volunteers overhaul an existing property for a family in need.

Northstone’s design approach has seen a wooden-clad ‘pod’ added to an existing family home – preserving the generous living space whilst making room for a further downstairs bedroom, easily adaptable for those with assisted living requirements. The approach doesn’t compromise the living space, with the simple design meaning other existing Northstone properties could be easily adapted in the same way.

Phil Wilson, Chief Executive at Northstone, said: “This a major moment for both Northstone and me personally. I know from first-hand experience how difficult life can be for families struggling in properties that just don’t meet their often complex needs. You can feel trapped – the exact opposite of what home should feel like.

“Such families are so rarely catered for in new build developments and we thought it was about time we did something about it. Inspired by the heroic efforts on DIY SOS, we set out to design a new build home that both provides independence for people who need additional support but helps keep the family together.

“Our mission at Northstone is to challenge perceptions of new builds with really thoughtful design … that includes creating communities that work for a whole spectrum of people. We’re beyond proud to launch Jacob’s Place in Bolton, and can’t wait to reveal the first of several such properties we’ll deliver. It’ll certainly be an emotional moment for us all.”

Northstone, part of Peel L&P, is in conversations with local housing associations, alongside support from Bolton Council, to provide the homes at an affordable rent to families that need an adapted home for assisted living. The house is fully accessible, and includes a spacious, open-plan kitchen and living area, as well as family garden.

Northstone hope to make similar properties through a range of tenures such as open market sale, shared ownership, private rent, and affordable rent where possible.

Another major benefit is that the home is, like all Northstone properties, super energy efficient – with design measures such as extra insulation, triple glazed windows, hot water heat recovery systems and in-house tech to cut energy usage and bills. Families at Northstone’s sites have reported monthly combined energy bills of less than £100 a month for certain house types.

The first Jacob’s Place is part of the Silkash community off Bolton Road, Westhoughton. It features 150 new homes, with only the final few homes available for sale.

Video produced by Our Studio who are long term collaborators with the Northstone team.