EXCLUSIVE: Major plans to revamp entire east Northampton estate set to begin "imminently"
A run-down housing estate in the east of Northampton is for a Â£5 million makeover that will see an eyesore pub torn-down and hundreds of homes re-cladded.
The work to the Thorplands estate will see a new community hub built on the site of the former Tanners pub in Farmhill , that had become a hotspot for vandalism, drugs, taking and rough sleeping in recent years.
Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) has secured Â£5 million from the borough council budget to renovate the 450 social homes on the estate in a scheme similar to that seen at Spring Boroughs near the town centre.
Chief executive Mike Kay said Thorplands, built in the 1970s and once entirely comprised of social housing, had deteriorated greatly over the years.
He said: "We would like to think this work will have a similar impact as the work we carried out in Spring Boroughs.
"People in Spring Boroughs didn't feel valued, they didn't feel like anyone cared - living on a run-down estate wasn't doing much for their self-esteem.
"If you go down there it is quite vibrant now.
"In Thorplands, we want people to help to enjoy their neighbourhoods that little bit more"
More than half of the estate is now privately owned as a result of the Right to Buy scheme introduced by the Conservative Government in the 1980s.
But among the 450 properties still managed by NPH, many are now covered in rotting timber cladding, which will be replaced as part of the scheme
Workers will also improve the insulation in the homes to make them warmer in winter, as well as replacing roofing and clearing gutters.
Communal areas, public access doors and corridors in flat blocks will also receive a facelift.
And the numerous garages on the estate, many of which are empty or in a state of disrepair, will either be repaired or demolished depending on their condition.
Some garages could be cleared and replaced with hardstanding car parks, Mr Kay said, while some areas could be cleared for more housing.
Work to demolish the Tanners pub has already begun and is due to be completed in around four weeks.
In its place, NPH is set to build a community hub that can be hired by people in the area.
"This will be a real community asset," said Mr Kay. "It will be a place where people can eat, drink and shop."
Contractors Keepmoat have been hired to carry out the work across the estate, which is due to start "imminently".
The renovation soon to begin in Thorplands come off the back of a consultation in the area.
Concerns were raised by 13 of the 450 households in the area, which Mr Kay says are being worked through.
"This whole process about going to an estate and engaging with residents," the chief executive added. "We want to know what we should do to improve things."