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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Carlisle flats set to be demolished in £1.1m revamp

Four blocks of flats are set to be demolished and replaced with new homes in a £1.1 million revamp launched as part of ongoing moves to revitalise an estate.

Borland Avenue Carlisle photo
Riverside wants to demolish the flats and build 11 homes

Sixteen one-bedroom bedsits deemed “no longer fit for purpose” are poised to be bulldozed at the bottom of Borland Avenue in Botcherby, Carlisle.

If the plan is given permission, the land would instead be used for 11 new homes – a mix of both two and three-bedroomed houses and two-bedroomed bungalows.

Housing provider Riverside, Carlisle’s biggest social landlord, owns the two-storey maisonette flats that are set for destruction. It says the replacement homes will be available at an “affordable rent”.

Most of the tenants who were in the flats have already moved, says Riverside, adding talks with residents showed a “clear desire” for the flats to go.

The landlord says some tenants were initially hesitant about moving but have been pleased with their new homes.

The proposal, submitted to Carlisle City Council for approval, is part of a “revitalisation plan” for the estate.

In 2004, Botcherby was suffering from a bad reputation and a report labelled it an area “that tenants find themselves on” because they do not qualify for “a property in an area they would rather live in”.

Homes on the estate have since undergone improvements, various schemes have been launched to make the estate more attractive, and work has being carried out on street lighting, parking and open spaces. Riverside said it had always been intended the flats would be demolished and replaced with more suitable accommodation.

It added that the design and fabric of the flats made them “no longer fit for purpose”.

Kim Doran, Riverside’s assistant director of asset management in Cumbria, said the organisation had delivered 200 new homes in the last three years.

She added: “Riverside is committed to building new affordable homes and focusing on places we can make a difference.

“In Cumbria, we have a commitment to providing another 100 new homes by 2015 and are working with local and national developers to identify suitable sites for development, which will be brought forward for public consultation.”

If the plan gets the go-ahead, work is expected to start in July and be finished by April next year.

Information is on display at Riverside’s office in Botchergate in Carlisle city centre.

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