Sandalwood Drive update at community drop-in session

Sandalwood Drive update at community drop-in session

Beech Hill residents are being asked to attend a drop-in session to discuss the proposals for the redevelopment of Sandalwood Drive.

Wigan Council has set up the event, which will take place in St Anne’s Church Community Centre on 13th August, 3pm-7.30pm, to give local people the chance to see the proposals prior to a full planning application being submitted.

There will also be the opportunity to discuss the plans with council officers and the architect so any questions and queries can be answered.

Earlier this year the Council undertook the first phase of demolition on the site, comprising 15 of the properties on the street.

The council hopes to breathe new life into the area by building a number of one and two bedroom bungalows, a specialist bungalow and an extra care scheme for residents in need of support.

Speaking about the work, Councillor Terry Halliwell, cabinet member for housing and welfare said: “Consulting with the local community is an important part of the housing development process and is essential to ensure that any new housing best meets the needs of the community in which it is to be built.

“We are committed to investing in our communities to improve the lives of all of our residents and the Sandalwood Drive project is one that has been welcomed by local residents due to the area suffering from anti-social behaviour and a lack of demand for the homes in this part of the estate.

“The future development of the site will not only address these social problems but completely will transform it into a desirable and attractive residential area offering a different type of housing to the community.

“I encourage as many local people to attend the drop-in event at some point in order to ask questions and find out more so they can further support and understand the positive effects that this strategy will have on the Beech Hill area.”

The majority of the properties are owned by Wigan Council with the rest in private ownership or occupied by private tenants. But last year, Councillor Halliwell, gave the go-ahead for council officers to work with residents and officers have since assisted them into new homes.

The demolition of the houses will make way for a new regeneration scheme which will address housing demand and increase the range of housing that is available in Beech Hill.

A range of options were initially considered by Wigan Council to address issues on the estate, including the refurbishment and re-letting of the empty homes, with consultation having taken place with residents in the properties and ward councillors.

However, the cost of refurbishment, alongside the likelihood of further problems due to the poor layout of the street has meant that the refurbishment option was ruled out as it does not represent value for money.

Find more information on housing stock in the borough.

Posted on Tuesday 13th August 2019

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