Fieldhead flats transformed

Release Date: 20-Sep-2011
What a difference! That’s what Fieldhead residents are saying about the latest milestone in the regeneration project that has transformed their estate.
The Mayor, Cllr Eric Firth, Cora Carter (Chair of KNH and KFTRA – far left), Cllr Liz Smaje (far right), with residents and some of those involved in the renovations.

The Mayor, Cllr Eric Firth, Cora Carter (Chair of KNH and KFTRA – far left), Cllr Liz Smaje (far right), with residents and some of those involved in the renovations.

Before and after - the flats at Rochester Road

Before and after - the flats at Rochester Road

Over the past two years, 155 unpopular flats and maisonettes have been knocked down and replaced by 139 new family homes for rent and for sale by Kirklees Community Association, a local charitable trust, and Keepmoat Homes, the developer.

Now, the seventy-four remaining one-and two-bedroom flats have been renovated by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, which manages the estate.

To celebrate the milestone, residents enjoyed a garden party on Friday (16 September) attended by the Mayor, Cllr Eric Firth, Batley & Spen MP Mike Wood, ward councillor Liz Smaje, and representatives from KNH, KCA and Bramalls, who carried out the renovations.

Staff from the council’s Streetscene service showed what people could grow in the new gardens, and residents had the opportunity to make up their own planters to take home.

KNH staff were also on hand to talk to residents about how individual blocks of flats could be managed in the future.

The £2million investment in the flats has created warmer, safer and more attractive homes that blend in with the new properties on the estate. The outer walls have been rendered with a special insulating material to improve energy efficiency; additional insulation has also been fitted. New roofs, windows, Juliet balconies, video door-entry systems and landscaping complete the massive makeover project.

Speaking at the event, Mayor Firth said: “I’m very pleased to be able to celebrate the renovation of the flats and want to thank everyone involved for a fantastic job. I’d particularly like to thank the tenants for being so patient while all the work has been going on – but I think everyone will agree that it’s been worth it.”

Neil Shires who lives on Charlotte Close is certainly happy with the results: “The flats are beautiful and really warm – I’ve not had any heating on since the end of March. They look so good on the outside too.

He continued: “Today has been a fantastic event for all the community. People can see what has been achieved at the flats and now it’s our turn to take equal responsibility for keeping up the communal areas.”

Cllr Peter McBride, Cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: ““Regeneration is not just about buildings; it’s about communities. I hope that the work that’s been done here will encourage people to come together and take ownership of where they live.”

Simon Rogers, Chief Executive of KNH said: “It was important that residents of the flats benefited from the regeneration project so that they too could enjoy warmer, more energy efficient and attractive homes that they can be proud of.

“KNH is committed to the council’s ambitions of tackling fuel poverty and helping create a strong sense of community – the work that’s been done at the flats goes a long way to achieving those goals.”

The £16m Fieldhead regeneration project has been made possible by a partnership between KNH, Kirklees Community Association, whose unique status has enabled the project to be funded at a time when many other social housing schemes were put on hold; Kirklees Council, which donated the land; the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which provided a grant; Keepmoat Homes, the developer; and local residents.

As well as building new homes and renovating existing ones, the project has also involved building new shops and play areas, improving the road system and a range of other environmental improvements.

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