Aspire Housing plans to invest up to £18.5m in a major regeneration project to create 125 new homes in Chesterton and Crackley and uplift the area.
The regeneration masterplan, which has been submitted to Newcastle Borough Council’s Planning Committee, is the result of two years of extensive engagement and consultation with the community. The final plans address residents’ requests for additional parking, new accommodation for older people and general improvements to the appearance of the area.
Over several years the project will redevelop 78 existing properties and replace them with 90 aspirational and modern rented homes designed specifically for older people, as well as 35 houses for market sale, in order to increase the range of housing options in the area.
Dan Gray, Executive Director of Property at Aspire Housing, said: “This is going to be a really exciting transformation for Chesterton, uplifting the area and creating high-quality modern homes to benefit local residents for generations to come.
“We’ve engaged with customers and the community through multiple face-to-face consultations over the past two years, not only to ensure everyone is kept updated with what’s going on, but to give everybody the chance to have their say, to let us know what they want, and to help shape the regeneration of the area in which they live.
“The redevelopment will involve a staged relocation of some customers in the area. We’ve already met with all affected customers in person to assure people that they will be fully supported through every stage of their relocation to a home of their choice. Part of this relocation will involve building the new homes in phases, which will allow some customers to move directly from their current home into a brand-new property as soon as they’re available.”
Lilian Barker MBE runs the Chesterton One Stop Shop; a community advice and information shop run by volunteers. Lilian commented: “I fully support Aspire Housing’s planning application for the regeneration of Cross Street and the surrounding area.
“They have had several consultations with the tenants, all of which I have attended in my role as manager of Chesterton One Stop Shop. They also held one-to-one interviews with their customers and made Citizens Advice available in the shop if needed. I have been kept informed every step of the way and I appreciate their trust in me.
“I believe the regeneration will certainly improve Chesterton.”
Councillor Kenneth Owen, who represents Holditch and Chesterton, commented: “I have, as councillor for this area, been involved at every stage of the Aspire Housing consultations regarding this regeneration project.
“First-class care and attention has been at the forefront and residents have had expert assistance throughout to answer any concerns.
“We all look forward to seeing this beneficial and modern development in the near future.”
The relocation project began in January, with a number of customers already happily settled in their new homes.
Dan Gray continues: “Aspire Housing is more than just a social housing landlord. We’re committed to putting people first and investing in our communities, using our role as a placeshaper to help make people proud of where they live.”
The regeneration proposal has been submitted for planning approval later this year and forms part of the housing association’s long-term investment to enhance its service offer to older people.