£13m plan means end is nigh for "Useless Crescent" in Wokingham

Published: 3 Jul 2013 09:301 comment

A NOTORIOUS housing estate is set to receive a £13.2m makeover after borough bosses gave the plans the green light.

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A NOTORIOUS housing estate is set to receive a £13.2m makeover after borough bosses gave the plans the green light.

Eustace Crescent, in Wokingham, which has been dubbed "Useless Crescent" by many locals due to the old and rundown nature of the buildings, will become a 'flagship community' following the investment.

Members of Wokingham Borough Council's executive committee voted unanimously in favour of the plans at a meeting last Thursday.

Cllr David Lee, leader of the council, said: "Building good quality affordable housing is a top priority for the borough council.

"Our commitment to this flagship development at Eustace Crescent will provide much needed family homes of mixed-tenure.

"Despite being one of the best places to live in the country we still have people on the housing waiting list and schemes such as Eustace Crescent will provide a number of affordable properties in the locality."

The new-look estate - which may also be given a new name to remove the negative stigma it has - will have 72 homes. This will comprise eight one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom apartments, as well as 27 two-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom houses.

Five four-bedroom houses will also be built. The central green space will be retained, allowing for community activities to take place.

All houses and ground floor apartments would have gardens and all upper floor apartments would have private balconies.

The tenure mix will be 50% social rent and 20% intermediate rent. A total of 30% will be shared ownership, with 35% equity shares available and rent on unsold equity capped at 1.5% per year.

Eustace Crescent was built in the 1960s to provide council social rented housing in 76 one, two and three bedroom flats.

However, there have been issues with damp and foul drainage, as well as antisocial behaviour. Many tenants requested to move out of the properties.

The development scheme is still subject to planning approval.

The work would be carried out by Wokingham Housing Limited, which is the council's own local housing company.

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