The first tenants to move back to Newfield Road have praised their revamped homes as being just like ‘a brand new house’.
North Kesteven District Council is investing £8.86 million – it’s biggest ever capital-investment scheme – to regenerate the street in Sleaford, which was built in 1928 and is among the oldest social housing on the council’s books.
Each of the houses, ranging in size from two to four bedrooms, is being extended and enlarged with the internal layout changed, as well as benefitting from designated off-road parking. The changes vary across each house type but include ground floor extensions to create a dining area and open-aspect kitchen, additional WC/shower room, plus additional insulation to improve their energy efficiency and cladding to give the homes a more contemporary feel.
The first phase of works has been completed and tenants, who moved out of the street temporarily while the renovations took place, are delighted with the results.
“We were the second tenants to move back in and it’s so nice to be home, even though we really don’t recognise it now because it’s so different”, said resident Louise Harby. “We’re all so really pleased with the improvements, the rooms are bigger and warmer and it’s like they’ve found more room.”
Her husband Paul added: “I would never have believed that they could have got this as good as they have. It’s like a brand new house.”
Pat Cross, tenant representative, who has been involved in the project since the beginning, said: “The refurbishment, extension and transformations are beyond my wildest dreams. They used to be so damp and looking back so pokey, but now they’re such open and light and easy to live in homes. The council’s done a really great job and I’m so proud to have been a part of seeing it through.”
The second phase of works to the street is under way now, with two more to follow between now and 2018, and will see the entire street overhauled, 18 new properties built, the street layout reconfigured to make it safer and more attractive for residents and a play area created.
Philip Roberts, Corporate Director for North Kesteven District Council, said: “I am honoured to welcome tenants back to their refurbished homes.
“Over the 13 years since I joined the council we have always known that we needed to do something with Newfield Road.
“With a huge amount of work and the support of our customers what we have achieved is a fantastic improvement.
“It is significant and we could not have done that without the support and patience of our tenants.
“It’s not been an easy project, but I am enormously proud of it; achieving something so significant and working around people in the way we have. I thank our contractors D Brown, our own team but most of all our customers, the tenants of Newfield Road.”
Coun John Money, Executive Board member for housing, said: “It is fantastic that we’ve been able to welcome people back to their homes in Newfield Road following the thorough and extensive renovations.
“This is a scheme we’re very proud of. It is complex not only in building terms but also with having residents decanted and moving back into the street at different times through planned and managed phasing of works.
“To see the first people moving back has been very rewarding and we look forward to seeing the project continue to its ultimate completion in 2018.”
Kurt Mason, Commercial Director of D Brown Building Contractors, said: “We are extremely happy with what we’ve achieved so far through phase one and it has been so well received by the client and the residents.
“It’s been a good working relationship so far with the clients and the tenants, with a real team effort from all points of view on what is a really sensitive site with so many people still living here and now returning. But we’re ecstatic and the tenants’ response makes you feel that all the hard work has been worthwhile.”