200 homes to be upgraded in Thornbury, Alveston and Tytherington in £20 million Merlin redevelopment plans
NEARLY 200 outdated homes plagued with damp and draught will be upgraded as part of a £20 million redevelopment programme in Thornbury, Alveston and Tytherington, the Gazette can reveal.
A total of 54 post-war semi-detached houses will be demolished and rebuilt to modern standards while the remaining 124 will be refurbished in 2015 by social landlord Merlin Housing Society.
The properties are scattered all around Thornbury including on Avon Way, Cherwell Close, Coln Square, Eastland Avenue and Frome Court.
They are situated on Quarry Mead and Quarry Road in Alveston and Southlands in Tytherington.
Constructed in the 1940s and 50s, they have become unsuited to 21st century living and are very expensive to heat.
Each new build and upgraded property will be fitted with more functional kitchens and bathrooms, energy-efficient central heating, external wall insulation, a new roof and wiring. Residents' safety will also be improved with more secure front and back doors.
The overhaul will get underway in the seventh and last phase of the programme, which will see 450 homes torn down and replaced with 600 brand new houses and 1,000 properties improved across South Gloucestershire.
Residents will be given the option to move to another Merlin home permanently as work is carried out on their former house or temporarily until the renovation or building work is completed.
It is still unclear how many additional homes will replace the 54 demolished.
Project manager Sally Gilbert said: "This is a really exciting project that will see us replacing 450 old, damp, draughty properties with 600 modern, energy efficient homes over the next few years.
"We’re already pressing ahead with the design work on the first site and will be applying for planning permission for this in the autumn, so we can start work on site next year."
Last month, the housing society announced it would raze ten properties in Coalpit Heath to make way for 22 modern homes in the first phase of the multi-million pound scheme.
Audrey Leahy, a Patchway pensioner who has been a social housing tenant since 1964, and one of two residents sitting on Merlin's redevelopment project group, welcomed the plans: "As far as I am concerned there are lots of benefits to be gained.
"It would be lovely to have a proper inside toilet downstairs. It would be good not to have the central heating freezing up every winter, and to live without a bucket under the boiler. My home is very draughty and dusty and noisy. The heating bills are quite high."
She added: "A new modern house would be cheaper to heat as modern building techniques would make the property more energy efficient. Maintenance costs would also be reduced for Merlin."
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