Ageing housing estate gets 'unique' renovation
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Development, Housing
An ageing council housing estate has been given a new lease of life following a 'unique' renovation project by Harrow Council.
Nearly 80 flats in Francis Road, Harrow, have been transformed with new balconies, roofs, windows and facades as part of the £2 million project.
No residents were moved from the site during the work and they were asked at the very start of the project what they wanted to see.
Their feedback was incorporated into the redevelopment with improvements – such as the inclusion of balconies, aluminium clad PVC triple glazed windows and fob door entry – made at their request.
Residents were also invited to monthly progress meetings with the council and its contractors so they could report any issues and be kept up-to-date.
Th council worked with its contractors to rejuvenate the estate, which was built in the mid- 1970s, over 18 months.
As well as improvements to individual flats, the roof of the building was replaced and new insulation was added, making people’s homes warmer and reducing noise from a nearby railway line.
Disabled access was also improved, adding another 26 wheelchair-friendly homes to the council’s stock.
The council's deputy leader, cllr Barry Macleod-Cullinane, said: “This redevelopment project has ticked off a number of firsts for Harrow Council. It is the first time we have taken on such a massive project without moving residents offsite.
We have managed to do this without too much disruption and hassle for the people that live there and this is because we have also used a new way of ensuring residents are not just involved, but at the helm of what we are trying to achieve – which is to ultimately improve their homes and the homes of hundreds more tenants in the future.”
Thomas Sinden’s Operations Director Steve McMahon said: “It is always pleasing to deliver a quality product which improves the living environment of the residents. The building looks more like a new build than a retrofit which is a testament to all those involved in the design and construction."
Resident Yagoda Subotic said: “My old windows used to let the wind in and heat out, but now they keep the cold out and the heat inside. It’s totally different and a lot warmer which helps with energy bills. The windows are also extremely noise-reducing. I can’t hear the traffic noise at night that I used to be able to hear. They’re also much more secure than the old ones.”
The council also used the refurbishment to introduce key fob entry systems on the site, ensuring 24 hour security, and new recycling waste bins.