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Lower Pulrose redevelopment completed

Monday, 01 October 2012 13:26

The handover by the Department of Social Care to Douglas Borough Council of 36 new public sector properties in Oak Avenue and Oak Close marks the completion of the redevelopment of Lower Pulrose.


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This final phase comprises eight two-bedroom apartments, and six two-bedroom, nine three-bedroom and three four-bedroom (including one adapted for disabled use) houses, together with 10 two-bedroom bungalows. (Pictured: New houses in Oak Avenue)


The £4.1m project has replaced 252 properties with 240 and has also seen the construction of 28 first-time buyer homes.


Architects for the scheme were Cornerstone Architects. The practice’s Rob Collister said: ‘A semi private garden area is provided between the bungalow terraces to offer communal space for the occupiers of the bungalows and encourage a sense of ownership to the area. Additionally, the design of the access roads linking Oak Avenue and Oak Close provides shallow accessible gradients to the roads and paths to assist access, especially important for mobility-impaired users of the site.’


Meanwhile the £17.6m redevelopment of Upper Pulrose continues with the completion of phase eight, 44 properties in Heather Crescent, Heather Close and Hazel Close, at a cost of £6m.


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In June this year 22 apartments in Hazel Close (pictured) were handed over to the Council which has now taken possession of the remaining units – six two-bedroom apartments, three two-bedroom, 10 three-bedroom and three four-bedroom houses, including one adapted for disabled use. Separately, work on 42 properties in the next phase has now begun which will be completed by the construction of 38 sheltered housing units, the total scheme providing an additional 124 homes by 2015.


The developments are accredited by Secure by Design, a UK-wide police initiative managed and owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers that aims to design out crime from the built environment. The scheme provides a framework of crime prevention and reduction principles for architects and developers, with particular emphasis on natural surveillance, aimed at deterring antisocial behaviour, reducing opportunities for criminal activities and increasing the likelihood of detection.


Isle of Man Constabulary’s architectural liaison officer Mike Radcliffe explained: ‘Douglas Borough Council is to be applauded for seeking Secure by Design accreditation in its developments. The scheme is very much a partnership approach between the police, the local authority, architects, and contractors, etc. Secured by Design aims to make householders feel secure, limit opportunities for disorder and make potential offenders feel vulnerable. It’s about building in security but in a subtle way so that it doesn’t look or feel like security. Fundamentally Secured by Design can help promote civic pride and enhance residents’ quality of life by creating schemes where people feel valued and safe in their environment.’


Mark Savage of architects for the scheme Savage and Chadwick said: ‘It is pleasing to see the completion of the initial phase of development ahead of programme and on budget with the following phase also having now commenced on programme. The contractor, Dandara Contracting, and the design team should again be congratulated on the achievement.’


DoorZSC 3294Douglas Borough Council’s housing and property advisory committee lead member Councillor Carol Malarkey (pictured left welcoming Oak Close tenant Linda Mitchinson) said: ‘To see the redevelopment of Lower Pulrose draw to such a satisfactory conclusion on time and on budget is extremely satisfying for all parties involved. The project to provide quality affordable public sector housing is a demonstration of partnership working at its most effective. On behalf of the Council I extend my gratitude to the support of the Department of Social Care and the contractors, architects, design team and Council officers, in particular those in the housing section, whose combined expertise and commitment to see this project through are to be commended.’


Department of Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw MHK said: ‘This project is the final phase of a major redevelopment scheme which has transformed Lower Pulrose.  It is great to see how investment makes a real difference to the area.  The properties are built to modern standards and are a credit to the design team and contractor involved.’


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(Pictured are tenant Linda Mitchinson with Councillor Carol Malarkey and the Council housing section's Jenny McAuliffe, left and Carrie Yates. All photos Andrew Barton)