Final phase of five year regeneration begins
Mill Farm residents watched diggers reduce their sixties era homes to rubble last week as the final phase of a five year £22 million regeneration project got under way.
The final stage of the Mill Farm Close development, which has already delivered 114 homes, will create an additional 45. Once completed in summer 2015 Mill Farm Close will become a mix of new homes for Catalyst tenants living on the estate, shared ownership properties and homes for private sale.
As part of the housing project Catalyst has also invested over a quarter of a million pounds in community development initiatives. This has led to the creation of 13 apprenticeship places for Harrow residents, as well as implementation of the REACH Programme which has helped 155 Harrow residents find work.
Residents have been closely involved in the project from the very beginning to help shape the design of the estate and they suggested renaming the estate Caulfield Gardens. Tenants have also been able to choose wall colours, floor coverings and kitchen units, as well as being able to choose which property on the estate they wanted as their new home where possible.
The new homes include solar thermal and photo-voltaic panels making them sustainable. The new properties also include modern insulation improving on the previous on the out dated poorly insulated homes, which should result in lower fuel costs for tenants.
Harrow Council Housing portfolio holder, Glen Hearnden said:
“With rising house prices and reducing housing stock we badly need affordable homes. This development helps us increase housing stock and create more affordable homes. There is still work to do in the borough and the council is working hard to improve the housing available for our hard pressed residents.”
“It was great to talk to local people on site and hear firsthand how happy they are with their new homes and the improvements to the area. Not only have we massively improved the residents homes, this project has also allowed us to deliver 13 apprenticeships and helped 115 residents back into work.”
Julia Moulder, director of development said:
“This is what regeneration is really about, seeing the impact that a transformed estate can really make. This regeneration is already making has already made a difference and has helped people on the estate into training and employment. Catalyst is here for the long haul – helping to build a better future for Mill Farm Close.’
Jackie Fineman, resident of Mill Farm Close and chair of the Mill Farm Close resident’s steering group:
‘It’s been amazing the amount of input we have been able to give. They asked us about the design of the properties and what was important to us and they also talked through the general layout of the estate and what they could do with the area.’
‘They had a sum available to help residents get back to work and that’s been great. About twelve local people including my two children have got jobs and apprenticeships through the scheme.’