Banbury’s biggest estate to be given council investment

Councillor John Donaldson on site at the Build! project in Lincoln Close, Banbury. NNL-161201-125008009
Councillor John Donaldson on site at the Build! project in Lincoln Close, Banbury. NNL-161201-125008009

Plans to rejunvenate Banbury’s Bretch Hill estate with new housing opportunities have been announced by Cherwell District Council.

As part of its award-winning Build! project, the council announced the plans today (Wednesday) which will also coincide with a £130,000 refurbishment of Woodgreen Leisure Centre and an ongoing project to demolish The Hill Youth and Community Centre and replace it with purpose-built facilities.

The Build! team is also looking to develop other redundant locations across the area, including the site of the former Admiral Holland pub on Woodgreen Avenue which announced its closure last month.

Councillor John Donaldson, Cherwell’s lead member for housing, said: “We revealed plans to regenerate the Bretch Hill estate in our recently adopted Local Plan and this year we will see that vision begin to take shape as we press ahead with a series of projects designed to revitalise the area.

“We will be putting the Build! project at the heart of this programme and are in the process of reviewing brownfield or vacant sites across the area which could be used to provide a variety of affordable housing including Starter Homes for people in the area.

In 2013 the district council completed its first Build! project on the estate with the renovation of 13 flats and maisonettes above the Orchard Way shops which had previously been vacant for five years.

Since then, the council has purchased and demolished the former Lincoln House care home next to Woodgreen Leisure Centre and work is continuing to deliver 18 houses which will be available for shared ownership sale.

Most recently, the council announced plans to replace the vacant Fairway Methodist Church with a new church and to develop the site with 11 shared ownership homes on the extra land around the church.

The council is currently applying for grant funding from the Homes and Community Agency to deliver approximately 15 houses on the former Admiral Holland sitre as part of the Government’s Starter Homes project which would give local first time buyers under the age of 40 a discount of 20 per cent on the market value to help them purchase their new home.

Mr Donaldson added: “We have already started to deliver some of these opportunities but over the next few years the momentum will gather and we will be investing millions of pounds to bring Banbury’s largest estate back to the forefront as a place that the town is proud of. We will transform redundant sites into thriving communities, deliver pioneering housing schemes and make this an area which people are proud to call their home.”