The long-awaited redevelopment of Gorse Ride South is set to get underway if Wokingham Borough Council's decision-making executive approves the first phase this month (30 March).
The council-owned homes in Gorse Ride South have suffered under investment due to a lack of funding available to Wokingham Borough Council and require significant investment to bring up to the standard the borough council would like.
And at its meeting on 30 March, the executive is being asked to agree the general principle of redeveloping the area rather than carrying out repairs and also to agree more specific details on the first phase. The first phase would see the rehousing and subsequent demolition and redevelopment of Cockayne Court, some properties in Arnett Avenue (97 – 107 odd numbers) and 154 Barkham Ride. This would be funded through money collected from developers for affordable housing (in Section 106 agreements).
All the potentially affected tenants in phase 1 have been advised of the proposal and residents on the wider estate were briefed at a public meeting. The council will work with affected tenants to identify suitable alternative homes in the Borough.
Cllr Alistair Auty, deputy executive member for health and wellbeing, said: "For Gorse Rise South as a whole this could be a very exciting time and the start of a transformation of the area for the better. But we do realise it is potentially very unsettling for those directly affected by the proposals and we are making sure they get the support and the information they need."
Details of the redevelopment are yet to be finalised and would be subject to planning approval. However, early work has suggested that between 40 and 46 homes could be built on the area proposed for demolition in phase one at a cost of around £6million. This would be likely to be a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments and two, three and four bed-room houses.
In addition to the principle of development, more detail on phase one, the executive is being asked to agree to the selection of Wokingham Housing Limited (or another Council-owned housing company), as the development partners for phase one.