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18 February 2014, 09:08 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Work is underway to demolish a deprived area of Southampton.
Southampton City Council has formalised its agreement for the redevelopment of Weston Lane Shopping Parade, with Bouygues Development. The contract, which was signed on 19 December 2013, will see the redevelopment of the site begin later this year.
The next, and most visible phase of works to date, began from Monday 17 February, with demolition of the former shopping parade. Demolition will be a gradual process over a few weeks, using a claw machine. This method has been chosen to ensure minimal disruption for local residents and visitors to the area in terms of noise and debris.
Vibrant, hand painted hoarding boards will also be erected on site, which were created by the Weston Church Youth Project to enhance the look of the site hoardings during the demolition works and inject a sense of local ownership to the development.
Building work is expected to start on site the spring of 2014 to construct 70 homes: 40 houses for private sale and 30 affordable apartments (22 rent and 8 shared ownership), enabled through partnership with Spectrum Housing Group. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has provided funding of £844,000 towards the provision of the 30 affordable apartments.
The development will also include a new library and community facility, which will be more than double the size of the previous library on the parade. The library will be accessed off Weston Lane alongside three new shops. 98 car parking spaces will also be created to serve the development. The development will be complete by the summer of 2015.
Councillor Warwick Payne, Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainability, said:
"I'm delighted we've signed contracts with Bouygues Development and I can't wait for them to get started. Providing a new shopping parade and homes for Weston, along with a community space and library, should breathe new life into the area and be a big improvement on what was there before."
Tom Jelley, Head of Region for Bouygues Development, said:
"Our shared vision is to create a vibrant hub for the local community to live and work."
Jitinder Takhar, Group Director of Development at Spectrum Housing Group said:
"We are really excited about our partnership with Bouygues and Southampton City Council and are pleased to be able to help provide much needed housing in Southampton."
Bouygues Development's planning application for the site was approved in June 2013, following local public consultation in the spring.