Release Date: 18-Dec-2008
Kirklees Council’s Cabinet has approved initial plans that will transform the Fieldhead Estate in Birstall, Wesst Yorkshire, over the next few years.
The plans result from months of consultation with local people and were developed after looking at a wide range of options for regenerating the estate.
The solution agreed to have the greatest benefit will see around 150 unpopular flats and maisonettes being demolished and replaced with new family homes for rent or for sale.
Other plans include tackling the problems of cars using certain streets as rat runs and improving communal areas across the estate. All of this work will have the added benefit of bringing jobs and training opportunities to local residents.
Cabinet approval means that these plans can start to become a reality. The affected properties will be demolished next year and the approved owner of the new rented properties, Kirklees Community Association (KCA) will then be able to redevelop the land and bring much-needed new family housing to the estate.
Before any work begins, staff from Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, the company that manages Fieldhead, will be talking to each resident affected by the plans. Those who need to relocate will receive individual care packages, and a dedicated team of staff will help make the moves as easy as possible. KNH will also make every effort to keep people on the estate if they want to stay, or move them elsewhere if they want to leave.
The council’s Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Liz Smaje, said: “This is a very important project for Fieldhead and Birstall. The council is delighted to be part of a new partnership that will help deliver some much needed social housing to the area, as well as the fact that new jobs, training and apprenticeships will be offered to local people once the builders get on site.”
KNH Neighbourhood Manager, Robert Scott, said, “Fieldhead is a great place to live, but we want to make it even better. Everyone knows that we are desperately short of family properties, and these proposals aim to solve that problem.
“But it is not just about putting up a few houses. We are also working with other organisations to transform the whole estate and we have £2million to help us do this.
“The money will be spent on things that local residents and councilors have told us are their biggest concerns, such as improving the flats that we are keeping, slowing down traffic, and carrying out major environmental improvements.”
KCA is a registered charitable company that owns 85 properties which are managed and rented by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH). It was formed in the mid 1990s to benefit the inhabitants of Kirklees in the following ways:
• to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure time occupation
• the provision of housing and associated amenities
• the promotion of education and the relief of poverty.
It has been approved by the Housing Corporation as a potential receiving body for Social Housing Grant money from the 2008/11 National Affordable Homes Programme allocation. The council is a minority stakeholder in KCA.