Work has now begun on a £1.7 million project to give run-down properties in Colne a new lease of life.
Earlier this year, we reported that 27 terraced homes in Walton Street were set to be transformed in a venture between PlaceFirst and Together Housing Group, in partnership with Pendle Council.
The area had become known locally as an eyesore, and an original plan to rejuvenate the area fell through due to a lack of funding. Now construction company DJ Hughes will deliver the scheme to turn the properties into affordable one three-bed and 26 two-bed homes for rent.
Initially it was expected the first release of homes would be in November, but this has now been extended to January, with completion anticipated in March, 2015.
The properties were acquired by Pendle Council under the former Housing Market Renewal programme, and the scheme is aimed at preserving the Victorian heritage of Colne while bringing the homes into the 21st Century.
Martin Ellerby, head of new business and innovation at PlaceFirst, said: “It’s great to see work starting on site and real change being delivered in this neighbourhood.
“These empty homes have been a real issue for the local community for several years, but working with Together Housing Group and in partnership with Pendle Council, we are transforming these properties into modern, energy efficient homes on the doorstop of Colne’s historic town centre.”
And Ian Clark, group director of strategy and communications at Together Housing Group, added: “This is a great project to be involved in, as it brings rundown properties back into use.”
High levels of insulation and air tightness mean the homes should be about 50% less expensive to run than a typical terraced house in the local area.
On completion, the homes will be managed by Housing Pendle.
Public realm improvements will also be delivered to the street and rear alleys and a number of Walton Street properties not acquired by PlaceFirst will also undergo a facelift.
A number of environmental improvements to properties in the Walton Street area are also being proposed by Pendle Council.
Pendle Council leader Coun. Joe Cooney said: “It’s great that work has started to create attractively renovated terraced housing in a prime position in the centre of town. We’ve been pushing for this for some time and it will transform this neighbourhood without any cost to the council tax payer”.
And Coun. Tony Greaves added: “These council-owned houses have been a blot on the area for too long. We are delighted that PlaceFirst will now completely renovate these empty houses in a way which fits in with this historic part of Colne.”
All inquiries for the new homes are being taken through B-with-us. Architects on the scheme are PlaceFirst Architects, quantity surveyors are Appleyard & Trew, WML Consulting are retained as structural engineers and building services will be provided by BCM Consulting.