Estate awaits the bulldozers

Joseph Bulmer

Demolition to begin in new homes for old project

THE bulldozers are ready to rumble into Barnstaple’s Forches Estate to demolish the first properties in a �5.3 million scheme to regenerate the area.

Representatives from North Devon Homes (NDH), North Devon Council (NDC) and Frank Haslam Milan (FHM) have met on site to discuss the plans, which will see old homes on the estate replaced with new affordable housing to rent and buy.

The NDH scheme, which will begin on Monday, has been backed by a �2.45million investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Improvements will see NDH replace 39 pre-cast reinforced concrete homes with 60 new affordable homes, of which 47 will be available to rent and 13 to buy or part own.

The developer FHM will be creating new jobs in North Devon by employing local sub-contractors and local labour.

Stephen Snooks, Regeneration Project Manager, at NDH said: “For almost two years the proposals for Forches have been progressed with our partners, such as North Devon Council, and we are very excited to see them come to fruition. This will provide much needed, high quality new homes in North Devon.”

Councillor Brian Greenslade, Leader of North Devon Council, said: “This project touches important buttons for North Devon Council in terms of our objectives for economic regeneration and affordable housing.

“We are delighted to be able to give support especially at this difficult time for the economy and to be able to work with partners like North Devon Homes to bring it to a conclusion.”

HCA investment and regeneration manager Lisa Clayton added: “It’s great news that work is due to start on this important project, which promises to make a real difference by creating much needed new homes alongside employment and training opportunities in connection with the project.

“Delivering new and improved homes on this estate is important to us and we have worked closely with partners in recent years to ensure that our investment can make a positive impact here. I am sure that this work will be welcomed by people living on the Forches estate.”