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Woodshutts Park helps buyers get on the housing ladder

Example: New affordable homes development at Woodshutts Park, Butt Lane, Kidsrove.

Residents have begun moving in to new affordable homes in Kidsgrove thanks to a £2m Aspire Housing regeneration scheme.

The former Woodshutts Inn pub in Lower Ash Road, Butt Lane, was demolished to make way for 22 quality homes, ready for rent and shared ownership sale.

The flats, houses and bungalows in Woodshutts Park have transformed the neighbourhood, providing much needed housing at an affordable price. The shared ownership homes are priced of between £115k and £125k for two-bed houses or bungalows, where the buyer purchases a 40 per cent share.

The development was financed by Aspire Housing with £616,000 of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency. Contractor, Novus Property Solutions completed the construction.

Sinéad Butters, Aspire Housing Chief Executive, said: “We are committed to providing new affordable homes, both for rent and to buy, to meet local housing needs. “I feel proud to see the transformation of this site. In the past, the derelict pub attracted interest for all the wrong reasons, it was an eyesore and a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

“But we have turned it around and created housing which is in high demand. Four of the seven shared ownership homes were reserved before the site had been completed. “They are proving very popular and we know this type of housing is helping people get that first step on the property ladder.”

Novus Director, Alan Nixon, said: “We’re proud to have played our part in the transformation of this site, which had become something of an eyesore after years of neglect. “It’s a perfect example of our partnership with Aspire Housing to deliver attractive high quality new homes, which it is hoped will improve the wider area for the benefit of the whole community.

“I’m sure that the residents moving in will enjoy living in this stunning new development.”

Councillor Kyle Robinson said: “For many years this site was blighted with anti-social behaviour, arson and drug dealing.  “Residents in the surrounding area were fed up with the abandoned pub and the state it had been left in and that is why we led a campaign to see something done.  “I am absolutely thrilled to see the development of affordable homes on this land to finally give something back to local people.  “The investment that Aspire has made along with the Home and Communities Agency is very much welcomed.  “This is an example of what we can deliver for our communities when we work together.

“I would like to wish the new residents well in their lovely new homes.”

Last Orders for The Woodshutts Pub

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Joan Walley MP and local councillors celebrate victory over the demolition of The Woodshutts Pub.

The Woodshutts pub in the Butt Lane ward will be demolished and be replaced by homes with development expected to start in 2015.  Aspire Housing have finally completed the purchase of the site after months of negotiations.  Councillors have campaigned for years to bring the site to the attention of Aspire following complaints from residents.  Anti-Social behaviour got that bad at one point the UK Home Office drew up a report to make the case for demolition.  What was once a very popular estate pub has become an eyesore targeted by thieves, Arsonists and vandalism.

The Butt Lane Locality Action Partnership have worked with Joan Walley MP, Councillors, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and others to secure demolition.  The purchase of the site by Aspire will begin a new chapter for the Butt Lane and Kidsgrove area.  We are in desperate need of some decent social housing in the area and this new development will be welcomed with open arms.

I shall be opening a bottle of Champagne this evening!  This has been a very long struggle and as a local Councillor I am feeling rather relieved.  Well done to all involved.

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Cllr Kyle Robinson regularly litter picking The Woodshutts Pub Site in Butt Lane.

Aspire ‘interested’ in Woodshutts Pub site

(Article updated as of Wednesday 13th March.  Aspire has confirmed that they are in negotiations to purchase the site but a sale has not yet taken place.  This means that the Woodshutts has NOT yet been purchased but Aspire is working to acquire the site for the right price.  An email that the Locality Action Partnership had received had not been confirmed by Aspire head office and may have been misinterpreted.  As soon as any up to date information is received this site will report it.  Information about a possible sale was released in good faith and we apologise for any misinformation given.)

Since I was elected to represent the Butt Lane ward in 2010 I vowed to get the Woodshutts Pub demolished so that the site could be developed for social housing.  Years of campaigning, intense negotiations, meetings and emails might be paying off.  Working with Joan Walley MP, Staffordshire Police & Home Office, Staffordshire Fire Service, The Sentinel and local organisations we have finally been successful in convincing Aspire this is a good location for a new development.  Not only that, we have made a considerable effort to keep the site safe and constantly reported problems to the relevant authorities.

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Cllr Kyle Robinson and residents in June 2012.

Councillors and volunteers helped out with litter picks and clean up days to keep the site as tidy as possible.  The rotting pub currently brings down the area and encourages Anti-Social behaviour so this burden will disappear and free up Police time for other areas.

As of 11th February Aspire made public they were looking to acquire the pub and site.  There is not yet any deal but the future is looking bright.  So whilst we wait for further news local Councillors are going to ensure the site is continually monitored by the relevant authorities to ensure maximum safety for local people.

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Aspire is making a difference.

I would personally like to thank Aspire for listening to us and working with us to get a solution.  The actions of the social housing provider prove that they do care about our community and want to help us tackle deprivation in the locality.  It shows that when people work together we can and will make Kidsgrove and Butt Lane a better place to live.  Hopefully we can look to a future of Aspire developing 1 and 2 bedroom properties to tackle the unfair Bedroom Tax.

Many thanks, Councillor Kyle Robinson