WITH the need for new homes across Cumbria, housebuilders Genesis Homes and Russell Armer Homes are gearing up for a  busy period, says MD John Blue.

As I look out of the windows of our new HQ in the heart of the Eden Valley, I regularly catch myself reflecting on how fortunate we are to call the breathtaking county of Cumbria our home.
Living and working here, we regard ourselves privileged to be able to create bustling communities within existing community settings and help boost local economies through the creation of much-needed new housing developments.
We are gearing up for another busy 12 months at Genesis Homes and Russell Armer Homes – perhaps the most exciting in our history – with plenty of activity planned throughout Cumbria; stretching from north of Carlisle right down into South Lakeland and into North Lancashire.
So it felt like a good time to look ahead at where our lines of activity will take us in the coming months.
The construction teams have rolled into the village of Lazonby, where work has commenced on the creation of 59 new homes in such a beautiful setting.
As we are truly embedded in the local areas we work in, we are always keen to celebrate the locality’s rich heritage and support businesses and organisations wherever possible.
With this in mind, time was spent researching the village, and it was clear that being connected on the historic Settle to Carlisle Railway is something of huge importance to residents.
By digging a bit deeper, we discovered the Wakefield family played a hugely significant role in the railway’s development in the late 1800s with Thomas Wakefield serving as stationmaster at Lazonby and Kirkoswald Station for eight years until 1898.
Therefore, our decision to call our Lazonby development Wakefield Gardens will keep alive the legacy of Thomas, and that of his stationmaster father, also called Thomas.
This plot will complement the other developments we are working on throughout our home county which, as highlighted by the local authorities, is helping to address a desperate demand for new homes.
One of our biggest achievements we are particularly proud of is the success of our pilot EcoGen project, which has resulted in the construction of 16 net zero carbon emitting homes in the village of Calthwaite.
The development is pioneering in sustainable housing as, powered fully by renewable energy sources, the homes significantly reduce carbon emission usage in the household. As well as being kinder on the planet, householders are enjoying minimal energy bills at a time of crippling price hikes across the UK.
It has been pleasing to see the overwhelmingly positive feedback from a wide range of people throughout the country, and it’s no surprise to us that most of these homes have already been snapped up.
Some of the largest developments in our history are also ongoing across Cumbria, with 158 homes being built off Burneside Road in Kendal and 81 homes in the west coast town of Stainburn.
We are close to selling out our properties at Rheda North Park, near Whitehaven, while two sites are currently being developed in Lancashire too.