Hundreds of estate homes escape the bulldozer: Rethink on £150m facelift
Major plans to transform Hull’s Orchard Park estate have been scaled back.
Initial proposals included flattening nearly 1,000 council houses as well as the estate’s remaining 1960s high-rise council flats and replacing them with 1,700 new homes for sale and rent.
But now those numbers have been substantially reduced as a result of feedback from a public consultation held earlier this year.
The latest scheme envisages just 375 properties being demolished along with the high-rise flats.
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They will be replaced with 680 new homes with around 500 belonging to the council.
In another change to the original scheme, officials say most of the new houses will be built before any significant demolition work gets underway.
Most of the re-development is now expected to take place in the Thorpes and Danes areas of the estate with residents facing demolition being given priority for the new homes to ensure they remain in the area wherever possible.
A final go-ahead hinges on continued funding support from the new coalition Government.
While similar private finance initiative (PFI) housing schemes have been axed elsewhere as part of the current national spending review, ministers have told the city council to carry on with preparing a business case for the Orchard Park initiative.
The Mail understands council officials are optimistic the project will survive future budget cuts because it is linked to already approved plans to build a new Academy school to serve the area as well as a new sheltered housing complex on the estate.
Under the PFI scheme, the council would be expected to team up with a private developer to carry out the facelift..
Councillor Rick Welton, cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said residents’ views from the first round of consultation had strongly influenced the revised proposals.
He said: “The feedback highlighted that there was significant support for demolition and rebuilding in some parts of the area coupled with a strong desire to keep the community together.
“We have listened to this in developing the draft regeneration plan and I would now urge people to come forward again to find out more and give their views on the detailed proposals.”
Nearly 500 people attended the previous consultations in February and March.
During the series of roadshows some 331 questionnaires on the regeneration options were returned.
Overall. 67 per cent backed the idea of widescale demolition but many also objected to the proposed scale of council
Retired building engineer Terry Lyons, 71, has lived in Homethorpe since it was first built 41 years ago.
He said: “I'm in favour of the plans. Although my house is down for demolition I want to stay on the estate.
“I wouldn’t still be living here if I didn’t like it.”
Adam Curylo (CORRECT) and his wife Helena have lived in Homethorpe for the last two years.
He said: “I think it will be good for the area. We like it here.”
Among the streets no longer earmarked for demolition are Caldane, Bondane and Axdane.
Hilary Windas and her husband Alan have raised four children in their home on Caldane and lived there since the houses were built in 1964. They own the property.
She said: "We are very relieved we will not have to move.
"We love it here. We have a nice view over the golf course and we love our garden.
"After all those years, out home has become our castle. We have had lovely times here and we are so pleased we get to stay."
If given the go-ahead, construction work is expected to start in 2014.
The next consultation event is on Saturday, July 17, at the Orchard Centre, Orchard Park Road, between 9am to 12.30pm.
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