FIVE hectares of land is being given away to a housing association by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to help pave the way for a major development.
The Gazette has previously reported that Sentinel will demolish 90 maisonettes and flats in Freemantle, Taverner and Westray Close, in Oakridge, which were built in the 1960s and 1970s, and replace them with 190 new homes.
The borough council has now agreed to give Sentinel some of the open space and footpath land it owns, which is currently isolated from the main estate and is a hotspot for anti-social behaviour.
The land will be used to help to create the new development of houses and three and four-storey apartment blocks, with improved open space, play areas and woodland walks, some of which will come back into council ownership.
Councillor Rob Golding, borough council Cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: “This is a good example of where we can use some of our land to enable Sentinel to move forward with a much-needed regeneration project supported by local residents that will make a real difference to people’s lives.
“We are giving up five hectares of land that is not useful for residents at the moment. As part of the changes, we will get back three hectares of open space which will be much better for current and future residents.”
Should planning permission be granted, building is expected to start by May 2013 and finish by March 2015, providing more affordable housing.
Martin Nurse, chief executive of Sentinel Housing Association, said: “Working together with Basingstoke and Deane, we’ve provided around 800 new homes to date by regenerating neighbourhoods across the borough. This partnership approach means we’re able to create better communities, improve facilities and develop more attractive buildings and architecture for the future.
“We’re very pleased that this latest project is going ahead to provide a further 190 new affordable homes. With so many people priced out of the property market and growing housing waiting lists, it’s great news that our council partners have agreed to contribute this land.”