High-rise flats have made way for new bungalows as part of an ambitious vision of regeneration in Wirral. The once towering Hillside Court in Tranmere has been transformed into a small development of contemporary two bedroom homes for affordable rent, helping to kickstart the wider redevelopment of the area.
Such was the local demand for the Regenda Homes properties that all of them had been allocated even before building work was finished.
One of the first to move into her new two bedroom home was Karen Pearson who had been sharing a cramped flat with her teenage daughter in nearby Rock Ferry.
"I cried when I saw my new bungalow. I just couldn't believe how beautiful they are. For me and my daughter, who’ve been struggling to share a one bedroom flat, this is the new start we've both been waiting for," said Karen.
Wirral Council provided the land and a grant towards the build costs, allowing the Regenda Homes housing association to create the kind of homes local people wanted.
Cllr George Davies, the council’s Cabinet member for Housing and Communities, said: “We had a series of consultation meetings with local residents who made it perfectly clear that they didn’t want to see the old high-rise flats simply replaced with new flats, instead they wanted bungalows to be built here. We listened carefully to what residents wanted and the end result is a remarkable transformation. This development will not only help to stabilise the community but will also kickstart the wider regeneration and redevelopment of the Church Road area of Tranmere.”
Martin Davies, Regenda Homes’ Director of Development, said: “We are not just talking about regeneration we are actually delivering it. This is just the beginning and, working in partnership with Wirral Council, we hope to play a long term role in the transformation of this area.”
A strict lettings policy ensured residents with a local connection to the area were prioritised for the properties at Hillside Court.
Cllr Jean Stapleton, who represents Birkenhead and Tranmere, said: “High quality housing like this, offered at rents which people can afford, is in short supply. I’m very impressed and I know the residents are too.”