Tufthorn Avenue is transformed
Published by Liz Reeson for Two Rivers Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Friday 11 October saw the official opening of Tufthorn Avenue in Coleford, where a transformation has taken place. 34 energy-hungry post-war houses have been demolished and replaced with 43 brand new affordable homes, completely changing the appearance of the street.
The redevelopment is the work of local not-for-profit community homes organisation Two Rivers Housing which devised the project in 2010 when a survey found that the existing homes were suffering from structural defects.
The residents have been gradually moving into their gleaming new homes since January and now all 43 families are settled in. Some of these are returning residents, who were provided with temporary accommodation for around 18 months while the building work took place, while others are brand new to the Avenue. With extra properties built in Tufthorn than were there originally, more families have been given the chance to live in a brand new home.
Ann Washington had lived at Tufthorn Avenue for over 35 years when she was told about the redevelopment, she said: "It was a bit of a shock at first and it was a bit of a hassle to move away from the Avenue and back again, but it was definitely worth it! The new house is absolutely wonderful and it was great to have some input into the design and choose some of the fixtures and fittings."
Garry King, Chief Executive at Two Rivers Housing said: "The redevelopment at Tufthorn Avenue has transformed the area and the homes look great, both inside and out. As with all our new houses, the homes are designed to save energy and will save families money on their fuel bills. In these current economic conditions and especially as we head into winter this is a fantastic benefit for the new residents. When you start to talk to people about demolishing houses and moving them out, there's naturally a lot of anxiety, so we send out heartfelt thanks to this community for supporting this project and helping us to make it happen."
The opening saw representatives from local councils, the community and Two Rivers Housing join together to celebrate the completion of the scheme. The new development, which includes a mix of four, three and two-bedroomed homes, was officially opened by the Mayor of Coleford, Sue Merriken, Two Rivers Board Chair, David Garnett, the Leader of the Forest of Dean District Council, Patrick Molyneux and Tufthorn Avenue tenant, Claire Powell.
Sue Merriken, Mayor of Coleford praised the quality of the workmanship; she said "It is a real pleasure to see this quality build in Coleford. The fact that so many of the residents who moved out have chosen to move back in speaks volumes. Two Rivers is always head and shoulders above everyone else."Cllr Patrick Molyneux, Leader of the Forest of Dean District Council said: "The District Council has supported Two Rivers Housing both through finance and practical assistance to regenerate areas of run down housing throughout the district. We are delighted that this has brought about such a successful outcome as we see here at Tufthorn Avenue. The 43 new homes are a great addition to Coleford and the district and will provide affordable housing for local residents and their families. Tufthorn Avenue is a brilliant example of improving the local areas for the community."
David Garnett, Two Rivers Board Chair said: "This is a great illustration of the Two Rivers philosophy of regenerating areas and the part housing can play in achieving this. Tufthorn Avenue was a complicated scheme which has been successfully delivered through partnership working. In celebrating this, we must not lose sight of the fact that it's been achieved through the community pulling together. We look forward to the next project."
Two Rivers Housing is committed to building affordable homes for local communities to help meet the demand for more houses. The Tufthorn project has seen a £5 million investment in the local community and the Housing Association plans to continue investing in new homes across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.