In 2020, following months of planning and preparation, we started the process of consulting our customers about the future of our Ripleyville scheme in Bradford. It involved the complete demolition of the existing concrete blocks, (164 flats our residents called home), with a new development of 73 family homes for affordable rent.
We built Ripleyville in the 1970s, to a specification using the ‘no fines’ method that was both effective and modern for the time, in blocks of one-bedroom flats. This was the most needed type of accommodation for the Bradford community at the time. Times have changed however and the scheme no longer served the housing needs of the local community.
The flats were still popular with our customers however. Many had lived there for a long time, but everyone was safely and happily rehomed by the late autumn of last year and the site was handed over for demolition.
Demolition is in the safe hands of Allclear Site Services, the company main contractor Esh has sub-contracted to clear the site.
Following a thorough consultation process, it was the residents themselves who voted in favour to demolish the scheme and rebuild it into something new, even though it would mean them losing their homes and probably leaving Accent. Our relocation offer was much more than just the statutory homeless payment, our Yorkshire team worked closely with our residents to find new homes and with the relocation and resettlement process. When other Accent homes became available, Ripleyville residents were given first refusal, and we are so pleased that some have wanted to stay with us.
Assistant Development Director Chris Smith and Development Manager Sonia Whetham are overseeing the demolition and redevelopment and are looking forward to seeing the first new residents move in in about two years’ time.
Chris said: “The new homes have been designed to enhance the area whilst remaining sympathetic. They will be constructed to help fight fuel poverty and the cost of living. To meet our sustainability aspirations, and commitment to building homes which meet an EPC 'A' rating, the new homes will be constructed using a 'fabric first' approach to limit and retain heat loss, with a viable energy strategy. They will be futureproofed and provide for wide ranging accessibility needs.”
“There is no doubt the scheme will transform the community and the surrounding landscape into something completely new and exciting for both our new residents, and the community who live close by.”
“If any former resident wants to come back, they can apply, if their circumstances mean they are best suited to a one of these new family homes. The important thing is that they are offered to residents who need them, which the local team will make sure of.”