A MAJOR regeneration project aiming to breathe new life into one of the city’s largest housing estates has been given a multimillion-pound funding boost.
Civic chiefs have been given £3.75 million by the government towards the redevelopment of Townhill Park.
The money will be used to fund a new public green space, called ‘The Village Green’, on the 665 home site.
It will also be invested in traffic calming measures and allow the council to increase the proportion of affordable rental homes.
Councillor Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council, said: “Hot on the heels of a start on phase one works at Townhill Park, we are delighted that government has recognised the council’s commitment to the delivery of affordable housing across the city.
“This additional funding will enable us to accelerate delivery of this important project and provide a range of affordable housing opportunities for Southampton residents.
“It will also mean that the benefits of the scheme to the wider community including play space, extra parking and traffic calming measures will be delivered much earlier.”
The 665-home Townhill Park project began last year – two years after work was due to begin..
Civic chiefs were forced to delay the estimated £100 million project due to the “complexity” of the site.
This included successfully moving residents from the current Townhill Park flats – with each offered more than £5,000 to leave their properties early.
One resident caused delays by defiantly refusing to leave their property in one of the towers earmarked for demolition.
But this was eventually resolved in 2016.
In total, 428 properties, dating from the 1960s, will be demolished as part of the redevelopment.
Contractors Drew Smith kicked-off the scheme in September by starting work on plot one – situated on the corner of Meggeson Avenue and Townhill Way.
Due to be completed in March 2019, it will consist of 56 affordable homes and will cost approximately £10 million.
Civic chiefs managed to secure a £750,000 grant from the Homes and Communities Agency and money received in Section 106 payments from private housing developers to support the development.
The council says the latest £3.75 million, which comes from from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF), will be invested into key infrastructure work.
This includes money for the ‘The Village Green’.
Plans for the green space, which were developed in partnership with the local community and youth groups, include separate play areas for younger and older children. The latter will have a zip wire, fitness trail and pyramid tower.
The government funding will also be used to speed-up the delivery of 400 homes on the site, and allow the council to significantly increase the amount of affordable rental homes in future phases of the scheme.
Civic chiefs have already approved a proposal to bring forward the development of a further 215 homes, around half of which will be affordable housing, in partnership with funder Cheyne Capital.
Source : DailyEcho