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'Crime stigma' Shipley flats to be demolished
7:00am Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
Plans to demolish two blocks of flats in Shipley will rid the area of its anti-social stigma, says a ward councillor.
The flats involved will be 287 to 305 and 307 to 325 Valley Road, and Incommunities has pledged to work with the tenants to help them with re-housing.
An Incommunities spokesman said it intended to demolish the flats because the properties had “proved unpopular to let” and would be too expensive to refurbish.
He added: “In the future we are looking to redevelop the site of these blocks to provide affordable family-sized homes. This demonstrates our strong commitment to use brownfield sites for future housing and protect the district’s green belt.”
Coun Rizwan said Incommunities’ plans would be welcomed because the flats were out-dated and had a stigma attached to them.
“It’s true the flats there have been unpopular with people. People have refused to move there because they don’t think it is a safe area. There is an unfortunate stigma attached to them around anti-social behaviour and crime issues.
“New accommodation would help improve the area and remove the reputation it’s had. The area deserves better quality accommodation to give it and its residents a boost, although we don’t want to see the number of properties reduced.
“It’s also reassuring to hear Incommunities has said it will work with people living there at the moment to find them acceptable alternatives and hopefully keep them close to family and friends,” he said.
Earlier this year, Incommunities had a derelict block of flats demolished on its behalf in the Goitside area of Bradford city centre ready for redevelopment. The notorious U-shaped block at Chain Street was known locally as Death Row.
Last year, a £960,000 grant from the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency was secured for the Roundhill Place and Chain Street development, along with £100,000 from Bradford Council’s Empty Properties Programme.
The money funded the demolition and refurbishment of two blocks of bedsits, and is contributing to the building of the first ten affordable homes. Plans for that site include 33 family-sized homes and work is due to start early next year.