ASB drops as Sovereign replaces concrete with grass for Christchurch residents
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Sovereign housing association has seen anti-social behaviour drop after building residents in Christchurch a new communal area, including a wooden boat and picnic bench.
The new gardens at Irvine Way on the Somerford estate replaced concrete slabs with grass, after Sovereign asked residents in two blocks of flats how they would like to improve their area.
Sovereign, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, owns and manages more than 37,500 homes in the south and south west of England.
The work by a landscape architect included pathways providing easy access to the new bin stores and adding washing lines. A wooden boat, picnic bench and shelter were installed to give children a place to play safely. A small allotment area was also created. A fence was built around the boundary of the garden to improve security and each ground floor flat now has a private fenced-off garden.
Sovereign regional housing manager Winston Nelson said: "Irvine Way is the first major estate improvement for us in Christchurch and it’s been an amazing transformation of the communal grounds at the scheme. Our residents now have a truly enjoyable outdoor space."
The area had previously suffered high levels of littering and noise nuisance.
"The shared garden and micro allotment has given the residents a chance to come together and build stronger relationships, reducing anti-social behaviour in the area and giving residents a sense of pride in the new grounds," Nelson said.
Photo (Sovereign): The new communal garden.