The regeneration of Gorse Ride South received an early boost thanks to a successful funding bid from central government.
Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive has approved the general principle of redeveloping the area, rather than carrying out repairs, and also agreed more specific details on the first phase. The first phase will see the rehousing and subsequent demolition and redevelopment of Cockayne Court, some properties in Arnett Avenue (97 – 107 odd numbers) and 154 Barkham Ride.
And the project will benefit from £253,700 funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Estate Regeneration Programme Fund that has been allocated to help regeneration schemes get up and running.
Potential uses of the funding at Gorse Ride South include paying for the technical studies that will be required and supporting community engagement to make sure local people’s voices are heard as the estate is redesigned. The actual building work will be funded by commuted sums collected from developers for affordable housing (in Section 106 agreements).
Cllr Alistair Auty, deputy executive member for health and wellbeing and commissioner for affordable housing, said: “The opportunity to bid for this money demonstrates the borough council’s proactive approach in ensuring any government grant funding is secured, and this can be used to help fund the vital engagement work we’ll be undertaking with residents at Gorse Ride South.
“The regeneration of Gorse Ride South will be a multi-million pound project that will take a number of years. However this funding is very helpful in the short term to help us get off to the right start.”
Details of the redevelopment are still to be finalised and would be subject to planning approval. However, the preliminary indication is that between 40 and 46 homes could be built on the area proposed for demolition in phase one, at a cost of around £6 million.
In addition to the principle of development, the executive agreed to the selection of Wokingham Housing Limited (or another council-owned housing company), as the development partners for phase one.
Gorse Ride residents who want to be kept inform about the regeneration can email: GorseRideSouth.Consultation@wokingham.gov.uk and request to be kept informed.