Following a celebratory event on Wednesday 25 September, long awaited regeneration work at The Parade in Blacon is now underway.
The project, now being managed by Sanctuary Group following its take-over of Chester & District Housing Trust (CDHT) earlier in the year, will see the development of 62 new homes on the site as well as the improvement to existing retail units.
At the event, Sanctuary Group and contractors Rowlinson Constructions created a sand-pit on site where The Lord Mayor of Chester, Councillor Jill Houlbrook and pupils from The Arches Community Primary School were invited to dig the sand, symbolising the start of building a brighter future for all.
Planning permission for the £19.5million development was granted in March of this year, following extensive discussions with local residents and community groups.
The development aims to breathe new life in to Blacon, improving health, welfare, living standards, education and employment opportunities for local residents, and improving business prospects for local traders.
David Soothill, Sanctuary’s head of development said:
“The plans for Blacon Parade are far-reaching and life enhancing, and Sanctuary Group is excited to be part of this project.
“New housing is a fundamental part of the scheme, with the creation of 62 affordable homes for rent. This will include 36 apartments especially for the over 55s as well as 8 one-bedroom apartments and a mix of 18 two and three bedroom houses.
“We understand the positive impact that this new housing and other aspects of the development will have on the lives of so many within the local community and that’s why we invited a mix of local people along to help us mark the start of the work on site.”
Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Growth and Innovation said:
“This is a good day for Blacon and one we’ve looked forward to for a long time. It has taken a great deal of effort and determination to reach this stage, and of course, there is a lot more hard work still to come. The benefits, however, will be many, from local jobs to modern homes to a fantastic range of facilities, making The Parade a better place for all to live and work in.”
Rebecca Challinor, Deputy Head Teacher at The Arches Community Primary School said:
“The children of The Arches were proud to ceremoniously mark the start of work on site at The Parade and represent the wider Blacon community. They had a fantastic time playing in the sand and making sandcastles with The Lord Mayor of Chester. The redevelopment of The Parade means so much to the children of Blacon – it’s exciting to see the immediate transformation to the area and the difference the project is likely to make to their futures.”
The Parade will have a phased completion, with the housing due to be completed in March 2015 and the project as whole by November 2015.