THE long-awaited demolition of post-war flats at Leaholme Court in Cirencester has begun.
Demotion of the 41 homes started last Wednesday, February 3, as part of a £4.5m regeneration scheme.
In 2013, tenants in the blocks in The Avenue spoke to the WGS about the poor conditions they were forced to live in [which you can read about here].
The situation reached an alltime low when it was reported that a homeless person had moved into the stairwell and was using it as a lavatory.
After a review was carried out, the owners, Bromford housing association, decided that making improvements would not solve all the issues at the site.
A decision to demolish the flats was made and residents were informed that they would be rehoused on September 12.
Planning permission for the new and improved homes was granted in November last year, allowing 44 new apartments to be built.
The apartments, due to be finished in 2022, will be much more energy efficient than the old ones.
This will be the second regeneration carried out by Bromford in the area in recent years – a similar project was completed last year in Paterson Road, Cirencester.
The association, which owns nearly 5,000 homes across the Cotswolds, is one of the biggest builders of affordable housing in the country.
They aim to build 7,000 homes in Gloucestershire by 2028, half of which will be in Gloucestershire.
Claire Thomas, development manager at Bromford, said: “We want to provide our customers with energy efficient homes that help them to thrive.
“After carrying out a review of our flats at Leaholme Court, we concluded they did not meet the standard of home we want to provide and no longer met the needs of our customers.
“We consulted with our customers and the wider community about our proposals and submitted a planning application in March 2020.
“Regenerating this site provides us with the opportunity to build 44 new, affordable homes built to high energy efficiency standards that are fit for the 21st Century and cost effective for the families that live in them.
“Our construction partners EG Carter began demolition work earlier in February and we expect to begin work on building the new homes in April.
“We anticipate construction will take around 16 months to complete.
“The new homes will all be available to rent.”
Mathew Vye, associate director at EG Carter, added: “We are delighted to have supported Bromford through the planning phase of this affordable housing project in Cirencester, allowing us to commence the careful and delicate demolition and initial groundworks phase and we are excited to deliver the new homes in 2022.”