Sir George Young gives his seal of approval after visiting Sentinel's Bishops Green estate to mark its official completion.
Published by Lucy C Wilson for Sentinel Housing Association Ltd in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
Sentinel Housing Association and Hill Partnerships met with Sir George Young MP at Bishops Green, near Newbury, to mark the official completion of the Ash Road estate.
The £20m regeneration was a joint venture between Sentinel and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. They teamed up with the local community to transform part of the tired 1950’s estate, replacing 95 outdated homes with 148 new affordable homes, for rent shared ownership and outright sale. Other facilities include: a new village hall, youth centre, village shop and newly equipped play facilities.
Sir George Young has been a big supporter of the project, and called in last week to mark the official completion of the development. He said: “The old homes were small and cramped and not fit for purpose, the transformation is marvellous with a wider mix of homes and greatly improved amenities, it’s difficult to remember what the estate was like before. Top marks to sentinel on getting more homes and improved community facilities on a constrained site without it looking overcrowded.”
Sentinel Chief Executive Martin Nurse added: “We’re delighted that the community has settled in so well. Rural neighbourhoods often suffer from a lack of facilities and It’s clear from the comments we’ve received that residents are much happier in their new homes and that the new facilities have made a real difference to the wider community too. We’re continuing to focus on providing much needed affordable housing for people who are priced out of the property market, at a time when 1 in 12 families across England are on housing waiting lists for social housing. This type of community regeneration also helps to stimulate the local economy, providing jobs for local people and contracts for local businesses. We’re currently working on plans for another two regeneration projects in Basingstoke to provide more new homes and more accessible community facilities.”
Bishops Green residents have formed a thriving community association organising regular community events, an over 50’s club offering support and events for older residents, a pre-school and a youth council.
Peregrine Road resident Charlene Tapping has lived in the area for eight years. “The new homes are so much better than the old ones, explains Charlene as she drops her daughter Ellie aged 4 at the village hall for her pre-school group, “the shop and village hall are ideal for the whole community and the facilities are really well used. Ellie loves the pre-school and all my older children go to the youth club.”
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Regeneration Cllr Rob Golding said: “This regeneration project is a splendid example of successful joint working to improve the area for local residents. This part of the estate has been transformed, creating new affordable homes to suit all needs as well as brand new facilities for the whole community to benefit from and enjoy.”
Jason Ludlow Regional Director for Hill Partnerships added: ”Our work with Sentinel and the local community to regenerate the Bishops Green estate is a great example of partnership working. One of the key factors which led to the success of this development was the consultation and design input from the local residents, so it is great to see them so happy with their new homes.”
Sentinel has an excellent track record in community regeneration and over the last 10 years has invested more than £150m to provide around 800 affordable homes in Popley, Oakridge and Bishops Green.