Three tower blocks in Calderdale, which have stood empty for over 10 years, are to be demolished as part of plans to invest in a key area in Halifax.
Earlier this year, Together Housing Group submitted an outline planning application to build family homes on the Beech Hill estate site, currently occupied by Cobden Court, Blenheim Court and Westbrook Court.
Now the housing association has appointed contractor Rhodar to start work on clearing the site, which also includes a former Calderdale Council highways depot.
The Beech Hill Project Board, an initiative between Together Housing, Calderdale Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, has been working hard for a number of years to try and get the empty blocks demolished but gap funding was required to progress the work.
Last year Calderdale Council was the only West Yorkshire local authority to secure a share of Government’s Estate Regeneration Fund. July’s meeting of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Investment Committee will consider the scheme, which will see the construction of new properties, for both affordable rent and for sale. Together Housing has committed to fund the demolition of these blocks to kick-start the regeneration, which is expected to create over 100 construction jobs.
The regeneration of Beech Hill is part of the Calderdale Together Investment Partnership, a partnership between Together Housing and Calderdale Council which aims to deliver up to 650 affordable homes for rent and ownership over the next five years, including new homes at the Beech Hill site as well at other sites across Calderdale.
George Paterson, Group Director of Property Services at Together Housing Group, said: “I, like many people in Halifax, will be delighted to see new, affordable homes replace these outdated tower blocks. This is part of our commitment to address the housing crisis in West Yorkshire where the average home is now seven times the average salary.”
Cllr Daniel Sutherland, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Environment, said: “It’s fantastic that work is progressing at Beech Hill. This is a key part of our commitment to provide more high-quality, affordable homes, and our overall vision for Calderdale to be a place where people want to live, work, visit and invest. We’ve listened to local residents and we’re confident that the new homes and regenerated site will bring a real boost for the community.”