CHANGING LENTON:

The Why, How, What & When of the Redevelopment of the Lenton Flats

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Aerial View of the Lenton Flats & Surrounding Neighbourhoods, Spring 2013

Why Was There a Need For Change?

It would have cost considerably more to invest in the flats and bring them up to a standard to make them secure, warm and modern over the next few decades than it will do to demolish them and build new homes. Furthermore, much-needed family homes will be built on the site of the flats. This will not only meet the needs of people on the Nottingham housing register but also help regenerate this area of the city.

Two of the five high-rise blocks in Lenton have already been demolished, with the others set to follow. All are expected to be demolished by December 2015. The demolition is being carried out with robotic diggers for the top floors with remaining floors taken down by a high-reach machine.

The works in Lenton are part of a wider, £55m programme taking place across Nottingham to build new council housing – it is the biggest council house building programme in Nottingham for more than 40 years. This is all part of a huge investment programme across the city – known as ‘Building a better Nottingham’. More information about the programme can be found at www.buildingnottingham.co.uk.

 What Will Be Built on the Site & When

In the place of the flats and garages, there will be 54 independent living flats, 16 bungalows, 10 flats, 62 family houses and with three retail units. The independent living flats will primarily be used to house tenants currently living in Newgate Court.

The first of the accommodation – an independent living scheme called Palmer Court – will be ready for tenants to move in by March 2015. The whole site is due for completion in 2017.

Planning, Design & Construction Considerations

Building plans for the Lenton site were made after a thorough analysis of the existing area – taking into account architectural and community/social aspects. 

Thoughts were given to the overall look of the area when the redevelopment works are finished, with a key principle being maintaining the privacy and amenities for existing residents. This includes involving the following in the plans:

  • considerations to existing views and through-routes
  • street facing doors and windows
  • parking arrangements
  • balconies and windows that give residents clear and open views as this often to reduces instances of crime.

Design Standards

All new council houses built in Lenton (along with others across the city) will be built to high design standards.

Security

‘Secured by Design’ standards which will make it safer for our residents in and around their homes. Areas across the city which have had Secured by Design doors and windows fitted by NCH have seen a significant drop in burglary rates.

Lifetime Homes

Where possible, the homes will be ‘lifetime homes’ which means they’re adaptable to the changing needs of our tenants, allowing them to stay in their homes for as long as possible. The lifetimes homes standard includes having doors that are wide enough to allow wheelchair access and other similar considerations.

Code 4 Sustainable Homes

The properties will meet high standards on energy efficiency and the promotion of health and wellbeing, for example having good insulation and daylight. Code 4 is part of a scale and means the homes are better than average.

Construction Partners for the Project

The demolition partners are Total Reclaims and GNAT UK. The construction partner is Keepmoat.

What the Changes Mean for the Community in Lenton

There were several factors regarding the community balance and addressing housing needs in Lenton and across the wider city.  Part of this came from The Nottingham Plan to 2020, and the Housing Nottingham Plan 2013-2015, which both state there needs to be more family housing in Nottingham.

Key objectives when planning the redevelopment of the area included attracting more families and households with children to the area who had a longer-term commitment to living in the Lenton area. For this reason, the mix of homes was decided with the idea of redressing the balance of accommodation in the wider neighbourhood, where a large proportion of residents are currently students.

The redevelopment will change the landscape as well as the community – the towers had been iconic to Lenton’s skyline for around 50 years. The housing development that will stand in their place has been designed to fit in with the existing homes in that area. The layout of the new streets being built will re-align with surrounding roads and the street names have been decided with some influence from the Lenton History Society.

Plans for the area even included the production of a new brick which is the same colour as its Victorian surroundings – it’s been called the ‘Nottingham City Red’ brick after the city. In addition, where possible, the trees that currently stand on site will be conserved. (See the article on this website: 'Nottingham City Red').

A time lapse video of the demolition of Lenton Court can be found at:

www.buildingnottingham.co.uk

Developments in Radford

A smaller programme is taking place across two sites in Radford: one where Highhurst Court stood, and the other in place of Highcross and Clifford Courts.

The development will consist of:

  • seven four-bedroomed houses
  • 27 three-bedroomed houses
  • 18 two-bedroomed houses.

A new street will be created, to be called Kapwood Close, named after a former factory and local employer. This part of the programme is scheduled to be ready for tenants to move in by the coming winter. All properties will be built to the same design standards as those on the Lenton site. The contractor for these developments is Wates.


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Artist's Impression of the Completed Lenton Development

 


EDITOR'S NOTE

The Editor wishes to thank Nottingham City Homes for the text of this article and for the use of the photograph of the redevelopment site before demolition work began, together with the artist's impression of what will be there in due course.

Nottingham City Homes will be talking about this and other work they are doing in Nottingham at an open meeting of the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs on Wednesday, 26 March 2014, 6.30 pm onwards in the Function Room of the Rose & Crown, Derby Road.