There’s great news for Gorse Ride resident’s as last night (December 9) saw plans for this ambitious community regeneration given the thumbs up by the Local Planning Authority.
The approved plans will see existing poor quality homes replaced with 249 brand new energy efficient homes. A massive 74% of which will be affordable homes to meet local demand.
“This is a major milestone for the community and gives people confidence that we will keep moving forward at Gorse Ride and investing millions into the local community, delivering the properties that local people need.” Said Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for finance and housing. “Whilst we know council budgets are under pressure it’s important that we keep on moving forward with ambitious projects like this.
“The existing properties are in poor condition and were never built to last this long. Yes, we could have simply refurbished them to bring them to a decent standard but this isn’t about simply meeting a decent standard. This is about showing that we are committed to supporting this great and strong local community and giving Gorse Ride residents the homes that they need and that they deserve”
In addition to exceeding the council’s planning policy requirement for affordable homes the new homes have also been designed to be incredibly energy efficient providing high levels of insulation and low carbon innovations including centralised district heating schemes in the apartments and air source heat pumps in the new houses and bungalows. Helping the council with their ambitions to tackle fuel poverty across the borough and address the climate emergency.
Steve Bowers, Chair of the Community steering group, spoke in support of the proposals: “I’ve lived in Gorse Ride for 36 years now, bringing up several children who have all gone on to own their own homes and businesses. I want to give other people the opportunity to do this as well. We have lots of lovely people living here and I want people to be proud of where they come from and of living in Gorse Ride.
“We’ve been working on this for five years now and we need to move on. It’s time to take the next step now and to see this happen. The community and Steering group are committed to this as are the parish and borough councils. We need to do this and give people new opportunities for affordable housing, it’s so critical for the local community”
Cllr Kaiser continued “At the beginning of this process we committed to making sure that anyone who wanted to stay in Gorse Ride could do so and I’m proud to say this remains the case. From start to finish the community has had a firm hand helping steer how the regeneration proposals have been shaped and we look forward to working with them closely as we move forward with delivering the regeneration.”
Over the coming months the council will continue construction on Arnett Avenue, Phase 1 of the Gorse Ride regeneration, which is due to complete in spring 2021. Alongside this they will start the process of tendering a contractor for Phase 2 works with works expected to start in 2021.