Brand new community where children can play out in the street

There are always concerns when taking the plunge and moving to a new build home on a brand new housing estate where you do not know a soul. But residents who moved to a new development in Burton have never looked back. The estate off Hawkins Lane welcomed its first residents two years ago and is now a place where children have friends and happily play out together in the street.

It may be next to a busy town centre road, but as soon as you turn into the estate of Hawkins Lane it is like entering another world, where children are playing out on their bikes and the noise of the town ebbs away. However, a lack of crossing on Hawkins Lane, used by thousands of cars each day heading in and out of the town centre is causing a major headache for families as getting across the road on foot is difficult, they say. The land the estate is built on was previously going to be the site of a a new Tesco supermarket but the plan never materialised as Tesco, which owned the site, ditched the store plan amid financial concerns for the company and decided to sell the site for house building.

Permission was later granted for 200 new homes, including affordable houses that are owned by Burton housing association Trent and Dove. We visited the new houses to speak to the residents about how they have settled in and what it is like living in a brand new community. TOP STORY: Where you can watch England in the Women’s Euros final

Naomi Port, 29, said: “I’ve been here for two years when they were first built. It’s nice and quiet. All the kids play out together and it’s pretty much all families so they go out the front together.

It’s nice for the kids. “The houses are lovely, I can’t fault anything. There is a wall at the end of this bit that we can’t see around so we try to encourage the children to stay at this end.”

Ellie Spencer

Ellie Spencer, 20, said she had only moved in last week but was happy in her new home.

She said: “There are kids everywhere and it’s just nice. It’s a nice area and it’s nice and quiet. It’s full of families and the kids are out playing – it’s lovely to see.

The pair next door is lovely and they took my bins out as I didn’t know what day it was. They are really friendly.” Leanne Lenaghan, 32, said: “I’ve lived here two years and it’s absolutely fine, we’ve had no problems.

I like it being a new build and my neighbours are all friendly. It does help with it being close to the town centre as I don’t drive. I think it’s the community that makes it.

We were one of the last to move in and everyone has been really friendly.” Gemma Holmes, 29, said: “I’ve lived here two years and it’s good. It can be noisy from the building work which is not great with a newborn.

The neighbours are all nice. It’s quite nice having a brand new home as everything is brand new and clean. It’s quite easy to get in and out of here as well.”

Another resident, Akvle, said: “It’s good, a really nice neighbourhood. It’s very quiet considering a very busy road is right next to us. You get lots of trucks on that road but as soon as you come onto this road it’s really quiet.

“When we moved here there were only a few houses so we weren’t sure how quiet it would be when all the houses were built and occupied but it still seems to be quiet.

The new housing estate of Hawkins Lane, in Burton

“There were some negatives with having a new house as you’re going to find little bits that were wrong with the house but that’s a quick fix.” One problem she did highlight was the lack of crossing on Hawkins Lane, particularly with a young child and another one on the way. Trying to cross the road has proved problematic and can be quite scary, she said.

“It’s a new build estate so there weren’t a lot of people in here but it’s becoming more of an issue now. I think it’s about 90 per cent complete so there are a lot of people coming and going in the area.” Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “The main problem is there is nowhere for children to play, they said there was going to be some kind of park.

We’ve been told it will just be a green space but the nearest one is at the [near Burton] library or in Horninglow. “There’s also no crossing on the main road. I have a mobility scooter and there’s no crossing all along Hawkins Lane.

My children go to school in Horninglow and we can only walk along the other side of Horninglow Road and there’s no crossing to get there. I’ve seen people trying to cross with pushchairs and there’s also no dropped kerb. It’s okay here.

“I keep myself to myself. The houses are very close to each other. Personally I need more space than a new built so I have room for my children to play.

It’s all very cramped but that’s the same with a lot of new build estates.”

New houses are still being built in Hawkins Lane, in Burton

The site had previously been earmarked for a multi-million pound Tesco superstore but in 2016 the supermarket bosses finally relinquished its ownership of the land which it had bought in 2004. After two years of failing sales and profit warnings nationally, Tesco scrapped its plans and sold the land. Construction started in 2019 on the former Dixie Sidings land, off Hawkins Lane, to build 203 homes comprising 87 affordable houses, after proposals were approved two years ago.

It was proposed that the affordable homes would be managed by housing association Trent and Dove to reduce its waiting list of prospective housing tenants. Before that, the site was home to Alumasc Grundy, which used it for the manufacture and storage of beer kegs for the town’s brewing industry for 25 years. That closed in February 2003.

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