The Sholver estate, on the outskirts of Oldham, borders open countryside to the east of the town centre. Much of the housing is Council owned and in order to attract investment, we are regenerating this area together with another outlying Oldham estate, Alt.
The transformation taking place in Sholver is being led by the Alt and Sholver Partnership, which brings together tenants and residents groups, Housing Market Renewal, Oldham Council and First Choice Homes Oldham. The Partnership aims to provide a better mix of new affordable private and rented homes.
The Partnership began its work by seeking suggestions from people living in the neighbourhood. When we published proposals in 2007, more than 200 residents took the opportunity to give their views on ideas to transform housing, schools and open space. Since then, further consultations have taken place and newsletters are distributed throughout the area.
The story so far
Residents are also involved through the Sholver Residents Steering Group, which has nominated four people onto the Alt and Sholver Partnership Board, where they monitor progress alongside Cabinet Members, Councillors and officers from the different organisations involved.
A heritage survey carried out in 2007 looked closely at the historic importance and value of the buildings in and around Sholver. The survey provided valuable information in formulating plans to transform the neighbourhood. Amongst action that residents asked for was the demolition of unpopular flats on Longfellow Crescent. The flats had stood empty for a long time and they were eventually demolished in August 2008.
Seventeen blocks of flats in ‘Top' Sholver are to be demolished to provide an extensive site for new homes. We are working with residents to find them alternative accommodation. In order to give every consideration to residents' needs, this is likely to be a lengthy process. However, we are planning to demolish individual blocks as soon as possible, after all residents have moved out, to prevent empty blocks becoming an eyesore.
Residents noted that an attractive environment was important, so some small-scale works will be carried out this year, encouraging residents to play their part. Proposals will be developed through the Sholver Residents Steering Group and people who live close to sites will be consulted in advance.