FLATS ‘TO GO’ IN PLAN FOR 379 HOMES
Flats demolition to create ‘high quality’ affordable housing
MORE than 150 council flats could be demolished to make way for an ‘innovative’ housing scheme – if Government funding is secured.
Stoke-on-trent City Council is working with a ‘social property investor’ on the project, which could see 379 new homes built across two sites.
This would include 226 apartments at Bucknall New Road in Hanley, with 155 low rise flats and maisonettes set to be bulldozed.
There would also be 51 apartments and 62 houses on the already cleared Pyenest Street site in Shelton.
Council chiefs say the programme – the first of its kind in the city – will result in a net gain of 224 ‘high quality affordable homes’.
Randy Conteh, cabinet member for housing, communities and safer city, said: “This is a major initiative for the city and the first time a scheme of this scale and ambition has been developed. The government is looking at our project as a pioneering new way to build and deliver affordable homes.
“We are committed to providing the best quality accommodation for our residents, and across the city we are regenerating large areas of brownfield land with homes that meet the needs of local people.
“Our public finances only stretch so far, and the demand for new and affordable homes is growing all the time. These proposals not only provide an innovative way to help meet this demand, but will also redevelop two sites that are in a real need of investment.” There has been low demand for the 1960s-era low rise flats in recent years, and it is understood that some blocks are now almost completely empty, with only one or two tenants left.
The council has yet to reveal which of the blocks in the area would be demolished if the scheme goes ahead, although further details will be released after next Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.
Council chiefs say they have based their proposals on feedback from residents, who called for more rented housing, particularly onebedroom flats suitable for older people.
Robert Dyson, left, secretary of Bucknall New Road Estate Residents’ Association, said: “I think it’s good what the council is doing, but they need to give us more information.
“Some of the residents who attend our meetings say they don’t know what’s going on. The council needs to work with the residents’ association so we can pass that information on.
“My concern is that if they’re going to demolish these blocks, where are they going to put the people who live there? I know of one lady who doesn’t want to move. She’s in a wheelchair and her flat has been adapted.”
The council insists that no final decisions have been made over the blocks, and that letters will be sent to residents in the area immediately after next week’s meeting.
It will then be at least a year before any works are carried out.
Proposals for the Bucknall New Road site also include more car parking, improved waste management facilities, extra security and landscaping.
The council has already refurbished three of its five high-rise residential blocks in the area. This work will continue as part of the masterplan, with Wellington Court and Westwood Court becoming supported living accommodation.
NEW HOMES: Low rise flats off Bucknall New Road in Hanley could be bulldozed to make way for new homes.