A 135-bed tower block in Salford earmarked for demolition will be retained by Salford council because of a shortage of one-bedroom properties.
Fitzwarren Court was to be knocked down alongside three other ‘orchard’ high-rise blocks in Pendleton: Apple, Peach and Pear Tree Court, as part of the regeneration of Pendleton.
But because of surging demand for smaller properties, the 45 one-bed flats in the 15-storey block are even more necessary to the local market than they were before demolition started.
10 terraced houses in nearby Rosehill Close will also be retained after Salix won funding to upgrade them.
The council say this move is down to “changes to national housing policy” – referencing the Tory government’s roundly-hated Bedroom Tax, which tries to force households to downsize to smaller properties by cutting housing benefits for properties with ’empty’ or ‘unused’ bedrooms.
But plans to demolish 150 homes on Pendelton’s High Street Estate have now been greenlit by Salford City Council.
Housing association Salix Homes now owns and manages these properties.
Their staff have promised now to draw up plans to work in phases to relocate the 149 residents who’ll have to move.
The redevelopment of the High Street estate, off Fitzwarren Street in Pendleton, is the ‘final piece in the jigsaw’ of a 10-year regeneration plan, say the council.
The decision to clear the estate was made in 2008.
Anyone who reads SalfordOnline.com on a regular basis will recognise the kinds of developments underway elsewhere in Salford.
Thousands of flats will be privately built across Salford after plans passed by the council’s planning committee.
Most of these we link to are on vacant, brownfield, derelict or already-developed land.
Bridgewater Point: New flats off Ordsall Lane [220 flats, Fortis]
Plans finally in: £650,000 Skills Centre sell-off [91 flats, KKI]
But the difficult thing (it was ever thus) is housing people who need the space now, who can’t wait for new blocks to be completed.
Councillor Paul Longshaw, lead member for housing and neighbourhoods, said: “The Pendleton regeneration scheme has seen over 250 new homes out of a planned 1600 built so far, including 150 affordable rented homes.
“We have also seen significant investment and big changes taking place to 14 blocks in the area.
“It is great news that our housing partner, Salix Homes, has secured much needed investment to refurbish Fitzwarren Court and the nearby houses. This adds to their existing investment plans for the area which include Albion Tower.”
“Clearance of previously owned council housing has helped bring forward these plans and the High Street estate is the final piece of the jigsaw that will allow the last phases of regeneration to be brought forward.
“These phases include plans for an extra care scheme, new parks and leisure facilities, a new children’s play area, a city farm and community orchard as well as additional new jobs, apprenticeships and work placements on top of those we have already delivered.
“Our partners, Pendleton Together, will start building work on 52 new, affordable, family homes in August, so, by linking that to the rehousing support provided to people living on the High Street estate, we can ensure that good housing choices are given to those residents.
“We are also still encouraging other partners in the area to put their hands in their pockets to invest in their existing residential tower blocks in the area; should we be successful in gaining that for Briar Hill Court and Cherry Tree Court the picture for all existing homes will be complete.”
Lee Sugden, Chief Executive of Salix Homes, said: “We are committed to keeping our customers fully informed and involved throughout this transformation process which will ultimately regenerate the area for the better.
“We want to get this right for all the residents involved, giving them suitable and modern housing choices.”
Main image: Fitzwarren Court through two new blocks on Salford Quays – by Salford_66 via Flickr