The outdated housing on Gorse Ride estate is set to be demolished and replaced by high quality new homes thanks to an investment of about £30million from Wokingham Borough Council if plans are agreed next week.
The council’s decision-making executive will discuss approval of the funding (£28,015,683 commuted sum from developer contributions for affordable housing and £1,300,000 from the Housing Revenue fund for tenant compensation payments) when it meets on May 16.
Phase 2 redevelopment
This phase 2 of the redevelopment would include all homes in Billing Avenue, Dart Close, Orbit Close and Whittle Close (excluding numbers 19 to 26) as well as Gorse Ride South (numbers 8 to 42, even numbers only). This would complete the redevelopment of the whole estate, following phase 1 which will see the redevelopment of Cockayne Court, homes in Arnett Avenue (numbers 97 to 107, odd numbers only) and 154 Barkham Ride. A planning application for the first phase will be submitted next month.
Cllr Richard Dolinski, executive member for adults’ services, health, wellbeing and housing, said: “This could be the beginning of a bright new future for Gorse Ride. We know tenants and home owners have been living with uncertainty for some time and this decision would make it clear that we are committed to providing a fantastic new estate that has been actively planned by the community through the steering group and regeneration surgeries.
“Many of the existing houses are of pre-fabricated modular construction, in poor condition and difficult to maintain to a good standard. If approved by the executive, we will have the funding in place to replace them with the high quality homes with green open space that the community deserves.”
Range of options available
New affordable and market replacement homes of varied housing types are proposed, making it possible for all residents (if they wish) to be able to move into a brand new home on the renewed estate. Under the proposal being considered, all affected tenants would be offered a new home on the re-built estate on a lifetime assured tenancy with broadly similar terms to their current council tenancy.
Affected resident home owners will be offered a range of options, including the opportunity to buy new homes on the estate (or potentially off-site) with support through an equity loan scheme or similar help.
If approved, the redevelopment would see 178 properties replaced with about 240 new homes, which would be a mix of one and two bedroom bungalows; one and two bedroom apartments; two, three and four bedroom houses and a small number of five bedroom houses. There would also be a large village green. The extra housing would be created by removing the unsightly and under-used garages and alleys.
Cllr Dolinski said:” The Gorse Ride community is a strong one and we know many – both tenants and home owners – are keen to stay on the estate and we are delighted to have a plan that will allow them to do so.
“We have responded to tenants’ desire for tenancy that replicated as closely as possible those they currently have with the council and this proposal also allows for that. We have also worked closely with home owners to make sure their needs are met and have a range of options for them that would be discussed individually.”