Go-ahead given for £2.37m second phase of Halifax homes scheme

Senior councillors have given the go-ahead for a second £2.37 million phase to regenerate the Beech Hill area of Halifax.

Beech Hill estate, Halifax.

As well as including the scheme into the council’s Capital Programme, a key component is Cabinet agreeing to provide £190,000 interest-free equity loans to private landlords, enabling them to refit their properties, said Cabinet member for Climate Change and Resilience, Coun Scott Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot).

Coun Patient said the plans were ten years in the making, with around £35 million of investment under way in the area.

This includes, in partnership with Together Housing, the demolition of the former Beech Hill flats, 106 new-build homes replacing them, with surrounding public and private investment being made into the school, police station and conversion of Martins Mill into apartments, councillors were told.

Major goals the refurbishment of existing homes meet include regeneration, sustainability, measures helping address the climate emergency, creating a sense of place and promoting active travel, said Coun Patient.

“This is investing in Halifax, it feels like investing in the place, which is what we need to be doling, as well as delivering decent homes for the future.

“It’s a win-win for everyone in that part of town,” he said.

Coun Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park), Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities, said she was absolutely delighted the scheme was moving forward.

“I think the original Beech Hill estate is a really smashing community, many have lived there probably since it was built,” she said.

It needed a ‘refurb’ and resident representatives had played a key role in bringing residents’ concerns and ideas forward, said Coun Lynn.

“I think the 106 new homes just coming out of the ground now will be alongside a really smart looking estate,” she said.

The newly-approved second phase will see homes’ existing flat roofs replaced with new pitched roofs on the 70 properties which were built in the 1970s.

Insulation panels will be fitted to sections of wall between the ground and first floor windows to match new doors and windows, and public areas surrounding the properties will be improved to enhance the area.

The properties will be warmer, healthier and cheaper to heat, through the inclusion of energy efficient features, Cabinet members were told.

Finance for phase two includes £1.2 million made available from the Government’s Getting Building Fund, which was approved by West Yorkshire Combined Authority in May, £400,000 from the council, £580,000 from Together Housing Association and contributions from private landlords totalling £190,000 – £10,000 per property – with the interest-free loans now available following Cabinet’s decision.

Landlords who own 11 of the 19 privately rented homes in the area have agreed in principle to their sums and negotiations continue with the others, Cabinet members heard.