RESIDENTS have moved into the first new homes on a £20million development in a Basingstoke neighbourhood.

Sentinel Housing Association began the regeneration project last July, in which 90 outdated maisonettes are being replaced with 190 new homes with open space, play areas and parking.

Sentinel staff have now handed over the keys to the first new shared ownership homes at New Horizons.

Sabrina Cooke and her daughter were among the first to move into the new development.

Sabrina said: “It’s wonderful to be here. The house is fabulous and it’s changed our lives.

“After splitting with my partner, we had to move back in with my parents while I saved up for a place of our own. Then in February I saw this house.

“The shared ownership process was really quick and easy, and I got the keys on July 9.

“I’ve already met some of my new neighbours, who are really nice. And we’re so excited about creating our new community. I can’t wait to see the development finished – especially the children’s play areas.”

Sentinel worked closely with local residents to develop the plans for the regeneration.

Mike Shepherd, Sentinel’s development director, said: “We’d like to welcome everyone who’s moving into these first new homes.

“The shortage of affordable homes in the UK has led to a well publicised housing crisis in recent years. And we’re proud to be making home ownership a reality for families like Sabrina and her daughter.

“The 67 homes we’re providing here for low-cost ownership will give many more families in the area the opportunity to invest in their future and build sustainable, vibrant communities for generations to come.”

Residents will have the chance to work with artist Helena Roden on the design for a new centre piece of public art being specially created for the development.

The first phase of the development is due to be finished by March 2015 and the second in the spring of 2016.

In total, there will be 67 two- three-bedroom homes for low-cost ownership, 68 two-three-bedroom homes for social rent, and 54 two-four-bedroom homes for affordable rent.