From pre-fab to simply fabulous: Selby's post war homes get £1.3m makeover
Published by Kelly Elliott for Keepmoat in Housing and also in Communities
Some of the Airey Homes which have been refurbished by Keepmoat on behalf of Selby District Council.
More than 30 pre-fabricated council properties in Selby have been turned from woe-homes to show homes, thanks to the completion of the first phase of a £1.3 million regeneration scheme.
The Airey style properties, located across the town, were built after World War II to solve the housing shortage at the time.
Intended as a temporary solution, they were built using a frame of concrete columns to make construction cheap and speedy.
Unfortunately, the budget building materials also made the homes draughty, aesthetically displeasing and no longer suited to modern needs.
Housing and regeneration specialist Keepmoat was commissioned by Selby District Council to refurbish the properties.
The intensive, seven-month project saw the company gradually remove the concrete panels on the outside of the homes and replace them with attractive brick.
The homes were also given new insulation, double glazed windows and new doors, with a small number of properties also benefiting from new kitchens and rewiring.
A total of 33 Airey homes, in Ulleskelf, Sherburn in Elmet and Barkston Ash, were improved during phase one of the project. They are now warmer, more attractive and cheaper to heat.
Phase two and three of the project will start later this year and will see a further 50 Airey homes in the district improved. This work will also be carried out by Keepmoat.
Among the council tenants to benefit are Dawn and Pete Bailey-Hague. The couple’s home at Barley Horn Road, Ulleskelf, was improved outside and inside in conjunction with the Airey homes project.
As well as replacing the old concrete cladding on the outside, the home was adapted to make life easier for Pete, who has progressive MS and is wheelchair bound.
Doorways were widened, and an extension was added to the rear of the property to accommodate a new kitchen, downstairs bedroom and en suite wet room.
Dawn, who is a full-time carer for her husband said: “It’s like living in a completely new home. It is so much warmer and more comfortable.
“There’s a lot more natural light coming in, and from the outside, you can barely recognise the house. The extension and all the other adaptations for Pete have made a massive difference to our quality of life, and will make things much easier for myself and the other carers.
“The team from Keepmoat had to work around us, and they were absolutely fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble, and there was very little disruption or disturbance. We are absolutely thrilled with our new home.”
Ian Allen, Contracts Manager from Keepmoat, said: “This has been a really satisfying project to be involved in. We’ve been able to bring these post-war homes well and truly into the 21st century, by improving their appearance, and making them far more comfortable and efficient to heat.
“We developed a really good relationship with the tenants during the course of the scheme, and they all seem delighted with their improved homes.”
Deputy Leader of Selby District Council, Cllr Gillian Ivey, explained that the project supported the authority’s commitment to delivering the best quality homes within the available budget.
She said: “This has been an innovative way of making big improvements to our stock of Airey homes in the district; improvements that have helped us to deliver homes fit for the 21st century. Working with specialist contractors Keepmoat has helped us to deliver on time and on budget for our tenants.
“We know from talking to tenants that these improvements are important to them. This project delivers improvements with a real long-term benefit.”
Airey homes are named after their original designer Sir Edwin Airey. The concrete columns that went into their construction were often reinforced with tubing recycled from the frames of military vehicles.