Regeneration is much more than just building homes. To bring real change to the area, we also need to explore the environmental, social and economic investments we can make. That might include having more green open spaces, better local facilities, safer neighbourhoods and more community involvement.
The focus will be on creating a place that is sustainable in the long-term – one that meets the needs of the existing community as well as future generations.
Consultation with the community
The involvement of the community is crucial and we have been working hard to engage with as many people as we can. Over the last three years we have undertaken an extensive consultation programme involving hundreds of residents as well as business owners, health providers, schools, councillors, MPs, the police and other stakeholders.
Overall, the consensus is that people want to see:
- Better housing choices
- An improved local centre
- A safer community
- Better and safer travel
- Community activities
- Climate change focused projects
Using this feedback, we have been working with the council and other partners to create an ‘offer’ (or commitment) to residents that will deliver these changes. For those who will be relocated during the regeneration, we have created three different offer documents according to tenure – so there is a separate offer for homeowners, people who rent privately and Riverside tenants.
Delivering the changes that are needed will involve the demolition of some existing properties. In their place, we will provide modern, energy-efficient homes for people to rent, buy or part rent/part buy.
We also plan to make the area a safer place to live by re-designing roads and pathways, improving lighting, removing crime hotspots and tackling anti-social behaviour.
We have carried out almost 250 housing needs surveys. These surveys have also helped to identify residents who might want to move away from the area, and those who have specific needs and might, for example, require an adapted home.
Using feedback from the consultations and the housing needs survey, we have developed draft plans and consultation with the community on these draft plans has now begun. Anyone who wants to give feedback can find out more on the draft plans page.
How we plan to deliver the regeneration
This is a long-term project, which will last around 8 to 10 years after redevelopment work begins. The regeneration would work in phases:
To avoid disruption to residents, we will always try to move a household just once. However, this will depend on individual circumstances such as whether a suitable property is available on the new development.
We have 3 key Projects which are the local centre, The Uplands and Hallwood Park.
The local centre
What: Plans involve re-designing the local centre to provide the right community space, facilities and services for residents, as well as safe and convenient travel routes.
Why: Residents have said improving the local centre is a priority. We want to create a new centre that brings the communities of Halton Lea together and offers the facilities that local residents need.
When: Re-developing the local centre would take place in the first phase of the regeneration, which means work would start once planning permission has been approved. This could be in late 2023, depending on progress in this latest round of consultation and the planning application process.
What: Plans for The Uplands involve the selective demolition of homes to make way for better housing. The new homes will be modern, stylish and energy efficient. There will be a wider choice of tenure types with homes for affordable rent, sale and shared ownership. We anticipate there being a mix of houses, apartments and bungalows. Changes will also include improvements to public spaces and travel, alongside community and resident-based projects and safety initiatives.
Why: To improve the quality of housing across the estate and help residents get onto the property ladder by providing homes for shared ownership. Other placemaking activities will make the area a more vibrant place to live, with the aim of creating a stronger, more resilient community.
When: Work is likely to start when the regeneration of the local centre area is nearing completion – sometime in 2025.
What: At Halwood Park, the focus will be on improving landscaping, community safety and the environment. This also includes creating resident-based projects and activities.
Why: The aim is to create a stronger, more resilient, safer community while creating a stronger link between Hallwood Park and Palacefields.
When: Some projects have already begun and there is more to come across the regeneration programme, over the next eight to 10 years.
A key aspect of the regeneration is to support existing community groups while looking to create more resident-led projects. We are already providing funding and support to groups across the area through our Community Chest Fund.
Support for residents
We will support residents who need to move, either on a temporary or permanent basis because of the regeneration work, including giving financial assistance. Support will be given regardless of tenure, which means we will support Riverside tenants, private tenants, homeowners and business owners.
Our specialist housing and regeneration teams will work with individual households to talk through moving options with the aim of finding a suitable property that meets the needs of the household. Households will also be given access to an independent financial advisor (IFA) who’ll work on your behalf to find a home ownership option that best suits you. Whilst we pay for this service to minimise costs to residents, we have no involvement in these confidential discussions.
Residents whose homes are not selected for demolition will benefit from improved landscaping, better neighbourhood safety, opportunities for community projects and an improved local centre.
Active travel: Making journeys in physically active ways - like walking, wheeling (using a wheelchair or mobility aid), cycling, or scootering.
Adaptations: Works to make an existing home more suitable for people with disabilities or mobility problems.
Decants: Sometimes it is necessary to move a resident for major works to be carried out to the property. This may be a ‘temporary decant’ (where the resident moves back after the works are completed) or ‘permanent decant’ (where the resident moves to another home permanently).
Extra care: This is housing designed for older people (over 55), which provides a 24-hour care and support service, enabling residents to live independently in their own apartment.
Placemaking: Focuses on transforming public spaces to strengthen the connections between people and these places, it is the process of creating quality places that people want to live, work, play, and learn in.
PPP: PPP is property pool plus, where people can bid and access housing from registered providers.
Public realm: Outdoor areas in towns and cities which are accessible to the public.
Registered providers: used to cover all registered providers of social housing i.e. both PRPs and local authorities
Retrofit: The process of making changes to existing buildings, for example to make them more energy efficient.
Tenure: The occupation type of a property, for example private rent, affordable rent with a registered provider, ownership, shared ownership (part rent/part buy).