England: Demolishing Homes without Alternatives

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England: Demolishing Homes without Alternatives
By: 24 dash.com
11 March 2015

South Tyneside Council is set to demolish six low-rise housing blocks but has failed to outline what exactly it plans to replace the homes with.

The 1950s blocks at Farding Square, Marsden comprise of 72 two and three-bed flats and will be knocked down to make way for a “modern development of family homes”.

According to the council, the replacement development will be “mixed tenure” but has given no further details.

The council says that it would have cost £7 million to bring the condemned blocks up to modern standards.

Almost all of the flats’ residents have been moved to suitable alternative accommodation nearby, and demolition work is set to begin this summer.

Councillor Allan West, lead member for housing and transport, said: “These properties were built in the post-war era and no longer meet the needs and expectations of modern living. The blocks would need major structural work and internal improvements as well as investment to create disability access and parking, with the costs running into millions.

“We are committed to providing high quality homes and with that in mind we are replacing these outdated flats with a mixed tenure development of family homes. Our officers have worked very closely with residents to find them alternative homes and ensure as little disruption as possible.”

Just 11 tenants remain in the flats, with the rest having been given priority for alternative properties.

Whitburn and Marsden ward councillor Tracey Dixon said: “This is a great location and a new development of family homes will give the area a real lift.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of support from residents both in Farding Square and the surrounding estate.

“These flats no longer offered the tenants the high quality accommodation they deserve. Demolition will allow us to invest in new and better housing and continue our programme of regeneration and renewal.”

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