Pollards Hill is soon to be transformed after a multi-million pound regeneration programme was approved by Merton Council.

The housing estate that dominates the district is set for a £35 million regeneration and development scheme from housing association Moat, which will see 24 homes knocked down, 90 new homes built and 400 existing properties refurbished.

December 15: Scepticism from residents of Pollards Hill Estate as £20.3million regeneration plans submitted to Merton Council by Moat Housing Ltd

However, the plans, which incorporate everything within the boundaries of Recreation Way to the north and South Lodge Avenue to the south, will also see the loss of 1.2 hectares of green space to make room for the developments, including a new access road and an increase in parking from 310 to 499 spaces.

Residents of the current 1,346 properties on the estate will be expected to continue living in their homes while the works are carried out, including the refurbishment of about 200 kitchens and bathrooms, wall and ceiling insulation and the replacement of windows and doors.

In the planning document that recommended approving the development, Merton Council’s planning officers said: “The proposals have developed over a considerable period, reflecting both engagement by the applicant with local residents and from discussions between the applicant and council officers.

Wimbledon Times:

The regeneration plans

‘The application presents both opportunities in the form of the delivery of much-needed housing and affordable housing as an integral part of upgrading the environment for the whole of the Pollards Hill estate, and on other hand the loss of public open space.

“Officers consider that the merits of the proposals outweigh the harm that might arise.”

In a planning statement, Moat described the current 1960’s and 1970’s housing on the estate as ‘originally viewed as being a model for contemporary social housing and living’.

It said: ‘The layout and the associated buildings were underpinned and driven by a number of largely experimental and untested architectural principles, which were derived from a vision of how the designers envisaged how people might live in the future.

‘Many of these theories and principles have over time proved to be misplaced or unworkable and as a result have given rise to a number of issues and problems associated with the existing building fabric, safety and security, and the operation and management of issues including parking and refuse.’

Councillor Martin Whelton, cabinet member for regeneration, environment and housing, said: “It is fantastic to see this scheme progressing in Pollards Hill, with planning permission ensuring the great project can move forward to the next phase.

“The much-needed 90 housing units, with 24 of them being replacement for existing flats, will be a great addition to the area and provide much needed affordable housing. It will enhance the area for future generations to come.”

Moat’s executive director of development and new business, Steve Nunn, said: “We will be working closely with our contractor, United Living, Merton Council and residents with a focus on the social elements of regeneration as much as the physical, helping to deliver a more cohesive community and greater opportunities for local people.”

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