Getting streets ahead with homes
WORK has started on building new homes in Guildford Street, paving the way for a £3 million transformation of one of Grimsby's most deprived areas.
Although locals have nicknamed the area Balamory after the fictional Scottish village with multi-coloured house fronts, the site's owners have invited residents to come up with ideas for a name of the new-look street. The investment by Longhurst & Havelok Group will deliver social housing on the site.
Some residents have been so excited by the new homes they have already put their names forward.
The appointed developer, Lindum Homes, expects to have built the 35 family homes by the end of 2013. Overall the site has a capacity for 73 homes.
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There will be an amenity area linking the north end of the street which has already been regenerated under a previous separate multi-million-pound scheme.
The road linking the two residential areas will be block paved, with houses set back from the road in groups of two or three.
It is the end vision of a years-long project, beginning in 2008, which saw residents move out and Guildford Street demolished and remodelled.
The new homes will be of a modern design and highly energy efficient, according to North East Lincolnshire Council's head of strategic housing, Debbie Fagan.
She told how the original homes on the street were poorly built more than 100 years ago.
"Some of the homes had been rented by housing associations, some were privately-rented and had a high turnover of tenants and there were a lot of behaviour issues," she said.
"This new development has designed that out and will provide green spaces and parking for residents."
The managing director of Longhurst & Havelok, Mike Hardy, said: "It is good to be able to provide the funding to make this happen. It is a much-needed boost for the area."
Lindum site manager Mark Carter said his firm had employed mostly local workmen to carry out the work and purchased materials and equipment locally.
And Grimsby firm Rapicon employed 10 men for the groundwork contract.
Mr Carter told how workmen had already had to face gangs of youths throwing bricks and fireworks over the fence into the site.
East marsh councillor Jon-Paul Howarth said: "It is a fantastic start to the regeneration of the area. It will help alleviate some of the problems associated with the area.
"Residents are already wanting to get their names on the waiting list. It is exciting."
Former Guildford Street resident Darryl Ryan, 38, said: "Before, it was a bit of a mess. Anything would be better than what was there."
Sharon Goodhand, 36, added: "It will be a lot better than what it was and it will give families new homes. They look nice."
Councillor Ros James, the portfolio holder for housing and well-being at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "Already the works that have taken place on the existing properties in Guildford Street have dramatically improved the look and feel of this area, and have improved the living conditions for people in this area of the town.
"These new properties will be a welcome addition and will kick-start further improvements of the southern end of the street, which will see further developments such as a communal outdoor area for residents."
To suggest a name for the street, log on to www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk and post a comment on this article.