Headlines: February 28th, 2007



Birmingham City Council is to go ahead with the regeneration of a housing estate, which will include the provision of 300 properties that will be available for sale and through shared ownership as well as for rent. The plans, for the Highgate area of the city, can move forward following a decision to sell land on the St. Luke’s estate.

Last week, in a report commissioned by the Government, Professor John Hills of the London School of Economics set out a number of ways to tackle the cycle of poverty on some estates by improving the social mix,
including the use of land for the development of private homes alongside social housing.

Councillor John Lines, Birmingham’s Cabinet Member for Housing said the city wanted to attract a development partner that would work with it to provide a high quality development for the area. “We will ensure that there is suitable housing choice, with adequate affordable housing being a priority,” he said. The intention is that up to half the new homes on the estate will be affordable.

The next stage in the regeneration of the area follows the clearance of maisonettes and progress in re-housing tenants from four of the estate’s five multi storey blocks. The four will be demolished later this year. The council said any redevelopment would take into account the opinions of local residents who had been fully consulted on the proposals and who had helped in the development of a ‘master plan’ for the estate.

In all the council has approved plans to spend 110 million pounds improving its housing in the coming year. Ninety million will go towards bringing properties up to the Decent Homes standard, largely through improved energy efficiency and security.