ALMOST 250 homes will soon be built on the Gorse Ride Estate in Finchampstead after plans for a long-awaited redevelopment were given the green light.

Wokingham Borough Council says it will replace 178 run-down houses and bungalows on the site with “high-quality and modern” homes, during the final phase of the £30 million regeneration of the estate.

According to the council, the prefabricated homes were only expected to last for around 40 years when they were built in the 1970s and it “is not economically viable” to try and repair them.

The council’s planning committee granted permission for 249 new homes when it met on Wednesday, December 9.

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Simon Bowers, who has lived on the estate for 36 years, said: “We brought up five children in these council houses. They’ve all gone on to own their own homes and run their own businesses.

“I want to give other people the opportunity to do that when they come onto this new estate. I want them to be proud of where they come to.”

He added: “We need to do this, it’s time to move on. We need to take these houses down, move on and give people other opportunities for affordable housing.

“It’s so critical for us to do this, I can’t emphasise this enough.”

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The council has promised to offer everyone living on the site the chance to move into one of the new homes and only six people have objected to the redevelopment plans so far.

It is planning to build 121 apartments, 107 (two and three storey) houses and 21 bungalows on the site, which is to the east of Gorse Ride South.

The plans state almost two thirds (185) of the properties will be affordable and 398 car parking spaces will be provided.

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Cllr John Kaiser, deputy leader of the council, said: “The current properties are in poor condition and were never built to last this long.

“Yes, the council could have simply refurbished them to simply bring them up to decent standards, but it is not just about meeting standards.

“This is about showing we’re committed to supporting this great and strong local community and giving Gorse Rise residents the homes they need and deserve.”