Villagers and community leaders have hailed multi-million pound plans to completely transform a north Derbyshire estate.
As revealed by the Derbyshire Times earlier this week, Chesterfield Borough Council has approved a £4.5million facelift of the London Boroughs estate in Barrow Hill.
The cash injection promises to bring the area into the 21st century with new roads, better car parking, redesigned footpaths and improved green spaces.
On the streets of the London Boroughs estate this morning, residents praised the major investment.
Louise Jenkins, of Southgate Way, told the Derbyshire Times: “I’m pleased to hear the borough council is improving the roads and car parking.
“There are no roads within the estate itself so residents can’t park their cars outside their homes, which isn’t good if you’ve got lots of shopping or are elderly.
“It’s also very problematic for emergency services – if you’re in need of a fire engine, you’re in the wrong place.”
Sally Harcourt, of Campbell Drive, said: “I’ve lived here for 30 years and it’s about time the borough council invested in Barrow Hill – it’s been a forgotten village.
“Everyone wants the best for Barrow Hill, they want it to look nice, and these improvements are very welcome.
“I look forward to seeing more green spaces to brighten up the place.”
Lisa Tulson, also of Campbell Drive, added: “I’ve got young children and I’m pleased Barrow Hill’s future looks bright for them.”
Councillor Jim McManus, the borough council’s executive member for housing, said: “If you were designing the London Boroughs estate from scratch today there is no way you would build it as it is now.
“At the time the architects would not have foreseen the huge growth of car usage and the issues this creates for parking.
“In addition you would want to plan the links between roads, including the network of footpaths across the estate, in a much more logical way.
“At the moment it is a common site to see delivery drivers unable to find the address they are looking for.”
Cllr David Stone, who represents Barrow Hill, said: “I’m delighted with this news – it’s very exciting.
“Most residents are happy with the development and say improvements are long overdue.
“Barrow Hill is out on a limb and some people seem to think it’s a forgotten area but this shows that the borough council is well aware of it and wants to improve it.”
Fellow Cllr Barry Bingham said: “This is brilliant news for the regeneration of Barrow Hill.”
North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel said: “I am absolutely delighted that the borough council is able to invest this money in Barrow Hill.
“This will make a real difference to the whole character of the London Boroughs estate.
“At a time when many residents have been hit by the bedroom tax and rising living costs, this is some very welcome news for the village.
“I look forward to working with the council to involve residents in shaping this development.”
The changes follow extensive public consultation to find out what would make life better for both residents on the estate and visitors.
Work is expected to start in January 2016 and be completed by March 2017.
• In addition, the borough council has approved plans to start public consultation on making improvements to the Holme Hall estate.
These schemes are the start of a planned programme of improvements for estates across the borough over the coming years.