KILLAMARSH: Work starts on post-war housing scheme

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Work to demolish post-war properties and replace them with new council homes is now underway in Killamarsh, as part of a major regeneration project in North East Derbyshire.

Dozens of tenants joined a community celebration to mark the start of construction work on The Bungalows site, off Sheffield Road – watching on as the first of their defective homes was demolished.

The £10.5m scheme is being led by North East Derbyshire District Council in partnership with its housing management company, Rykneld Homes. It will see a total of 99 council-owned bungalows cleared from this site, and also an estate in Eckington, to make way for around 130 new, modern homes.

Cllr Betty Hill, member with responsibility for housing, cut the first piece of turf alongside Chair of Killamarsh Parish Council, Cllr Barry Jones.

Cllr Hill welcomed tenants to the celebration, and thanked them for their support which had helped to make the ambitious plans a reality.

“We have been looking forward to this day, together with the tenants who live here, but we know it is one of mixed emotions as we lay a piece of history to rest.

“Together we are now looking forward to the day when people can move into their new, modern homes.”

Built following the Second World War, the Tarrans are a defective construction type which have serious long-term structural problems, and are also very hard and expensive to heat.

The development sites are at The Bungalows off Sheffield Road in Killamarsh, and Pitt Street and Pipe yard Lane in Eckington. The site of the former Wood view House in Eckington will also be included in the development. Around 130 new homes will be built in total across the sites.

Award-winning contractor, Galliford Try Partnerships, has been appointed to build the development – with the first homes due to be ready to move into by the end of the year.

The regeneration team from Rykneld Homes has been working closely with tenants throughout the project, and tenants have shaped how their new properties and estates will look.

The work will be carried out in phases, with the majority of tenants moving from their old home directly into a new one when built.

Everything from the existing buildings which is of good enough quality – including windows, doors and boilers – will be reused elsewhere.

Cllr Nigel Barker, Chair of Rykneld Homes, added: “This will be the end of an era for many tenants, who have brought their families up in these houses. While it is sad to see a piece of history laid to rest, tenants are looking forward to having modern, warm homes with all the facilities they need.”

The developments are part of the council and Rykneld Homes’ long-term plans to regenerate homes across the district which were built using non-traditional construction methods.

Cllr Michael Gordon, supporting Member for housing, added: “Together with Rykneld Homes, we are very proud to be leading the creation of new council homes in North East Derbyshire – the first for a generation. This scheme is a huge investment in the future of our communities, and is part of our wider commitment to the regeneration of homes across the district.”

The project has captured national interest because of the social history of post-war, pre-fabricated housing – known as ‘Homes for Heroes’ – with documentary-maker and photographer, Elisabeth Blanchet, following the regeneration.

The possibility of preserving two of the Tarrans has been agreed by the Council with two history groups. They are working with Rykneld Homes to dismantle two bungalows to re-build them and create ‘living museums.’