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The new Nottinghamshire community where ‘everyone seems friendly and gets on’

today1 July 2022

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People living on a vast new housing estate in Nottinghamshire say they “love” living there. Residents of the Middlebeck development, near Newark, are enjoying their new homes and say the area has created a friendly community.

Despite ongoing construction work in different parts of the estate, residents don’t mind the subsequent dust or noise as they know it’s not going to last forever. Hundreds of homes have been built at the estate, located between Balderton and Hawton off Bowbridge Lane and Hawton Lane, by developers Bellway and Avant Homes.

Residents first began moving onto the estate in 2018 and say that there is a great community on the site, where a primary school is fully operational and work has started on a care home. Construction worker Sophie Stapleton, 40, moved to one of the first Avant properties at Middlebeck three years ago after she needed a “bigger property”.

Read more: 400 new homes plan startles Cotgrave locals who are worried Nottinghamshire town ‘won’t cope’

When asked her favourite part about the Middlebeck, Sophie said: “I think its the freedom for the children and it’s quite neighbourly. Everybody kind of moved in at the same time so we had no cliques or long standing relationships.”

She added: “There’s not very many business places at the moment so, if you can’t drive, you’re screwed.” Business owner Lisa Goodyear, 51, moved to the area with her family from Long Bennington in November 2021.



Lisa paid £390,000 for her four bedroom home, and says she enjoys living in the “quiet” area. When asked her thoughts on the community, Lisa says she has “not been here long enough” to get involved, but mentioned a big street party which took place for the Platinum Jubilee.

Retail manager Kayne Trueblood, 29, moved to his Avant home in Middlebeck from Newark during the summer of 2019. Kayne and his partner decided to move as they “were expanding the family and we lived in a lot smaller house before”.

When asked his favourite part of Middlebeck, he said: “The house itself and we are still very close to other family members and stuff like that. There’s a Facebook group and everyone seems to help each other on there, but if we need to go anywhere there that’s not nearby we have to drive.”

A 30-year-old woman, who works as a communications and engagement manager and asked not to be named, moved into her Avant home in 2021. She said: “I lived in Nottingham city before, so we thought we should get more for our money this end.” She paid £340,000 for her four bedroom home and said “there’s that kind of family feel around here and everyone seems friendly and gets on”.

She added: “I think it would be nice to have maybe more of a local shop closer but I think that’s in the plans for the future.” Administrator for a motor racing club, Melanie Willoughby, 43, moved into her four bedroom Bellway home from near Lincoln at the start of 2020.

She paid £335,000 for her new home and says the development “is all building a really lovely area”. Melanie said “We love the proximity to town and we can walk to the town or get the bus or drive which is good for going out as one of the things we love is the restaurants and food in Newark.

“We love the town, it’s got pretty much everything we need.” The Middlebeck development is also close to both the A1 and A46, and a short drive away from Newark’s two train stations.

Melanie says the travel connections is another reason they decided to move to the area. She said: “We can go to all over the country and it’s never really far. Makes it a lot easier, that was part of the reason to move as well.”

She continued: “We’ve got lovely neighbours and it’s a great environment, we really enjoy it here. It’s great for dog walking and we are really looking forward to seeing how the development grows in the future with the park and the fishing pond area.”

“Sometimes you can hear the A1 or something in the distance but it’s the sort of noise that just disappears into the background.” Melanie also believes that shops are what the estate is missing and says she is looking forward to having “some local services that we can use”.

When asked her thoughts on the community, she said: “Whenever we are on the drive way or outside the front people stop and have conversations and you get to know each other quite well.” Father of three John Beaumont, 40, moved from Thoroton, near the Rushcliffe village of Aslockton, to his Bellway home at the Middlebeck estate 18 months ago.



John said: “It’s the first house we have bought as we were renting before and still close to the kids’ school and stuff. It’s just a nice area, it’s close enough to town but not in the town centre.

“So far we have been lucky, all the neighbours we have near are so very nice, at the moment everything is fantastic.” When asked his thoughts on the ongoing building work, he said: “It’s not really bothering us to be fair as we came quite late on this phase.”

Mum Nicky Dark, 38, moved to Middlebeck a few days ago. She said she moved “to be closure to family and friends”. She added: “From what I’ve seen its nice and quiet.”

“It’s not the old fashioned wooden fence where you can see others gardens and talk.” Credit control manager, Vicky Hall, 37, moved into Middlebeck over two years ago, and paid £220,000 for her 4 bedroom Bellway home.

Vicky said: “We wanted a new build and we used to live in Farndon and we just wanted to be closer to town.” When asked if she thought there was a sense of community in the area, she said: “I think so, we keep ourselves to ourselves a lot, we go to Gannets, that’s amazing around the corner.”

Vicky lives close to some of the more recent construction areas but says “since the school has gone up its nice and quiet, the worst part is people who use the main road as a racing track in the evenings.” Retired Pamela Wright, 76, moved to Middlebeck from Long Bennington almost four years ago.

Pamela said: “It’s just nice and quiet and everyone is friendly, it’s a great community, but we could do with a shop and a post box.” Retired, Brendan Dunne, 68, moved into his home from Norfolk in late 2019 to be closer to family and was the second person to move into his part of the Bellway homes.



When asked about the noise of nearby construction work, Brendan said: “It’s the third new house we have had so we are kind of used to it. You have to bare that in mind when you buy and it’s not going to last forever.”

Brendan said: “We like the way it’s being developed with the open spaces places. It’s nice watching it grow.” When asked is he thought Middlebeck had a good community, Brendan said: “No I wouldn’t actually” and explained that despite meeting plenty of people nearby most of them are either at work all the time or are much younger.

He used to be a primary school teacher, and thinks “it’s fantastic” that there is already a school in Middlebeck. Solicitor Leanne Bramley, 29, moved into her Bellway home in 2019 as well.

Leanne used to live in Nottingham and is enjoying the more rural setting, she said: “Everyone that lives in Middlebeck is really nice” and explained that there’s a community Facebook group everyone uses. Her favourite things about it are “the location and community”.



She added: “There’s stuff to do here for the kids, it’s nice for summer.” When asked about any issues with the construction work, she said: “If we leave the windows open we get dust inside, but that’s not forever.”

Consultant Gareth Bamford, 41, and retail worker Kerry Bamford, 37, moved into their Bellway home in December 2021. They moved here as Gareth has “just left the army after 22 years and we have a young family”.

He said: “We’ve just travelled round the world and didn’t have any where but I used to live in Nottingham years ago. We just kept driving up to Newark to check it out and picture the house and watch it get built.”



“We love the house, it’s just getting used to the area.” The couple say they are looking forward to “the community that’s going to develop” and say “it’s nice for stability”.

When asked if there are any issues with construction, Kerry said: “Sometimes they will block both sides of the road. In the beginning I thought it was a lot easier as everyone was really nice and welcoming and happy to help.

“Now it’s months later it’s like they are all tired of working here, but once houses one are built I reckon it will be absolutely fine. It needs to be done for future developments.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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