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Regeneration of Oval in Hereford a step closer

A £30M redevelopment of The Oval at Newton Farm in Hereford is a step closer this week after a Herefordshire council cabinet member decision agreed recommendations for land disposal and redevelopment of the Oval, Newton Farm in Hereford.

Herefordshire Council has gifted the land at the Vortex to kickstart what will be one of the most significant residential regeneration projects in the county. The gifted land formerly housed a youth centre that was previously destroyed by fire.

The Oval project area is located to the south West of Hereford city centre, forming part of the Newton Farm Estate. The area is the most deprived in Herefordshire and one of the 10 per cent most deprived in the country. Whilst there is a strong sense of community this is tempered by the poor reputation that it suffers from locally, a reputation that has led to a stigmatisation of the area.

The regeneration project will see more than 200 Herefordshire Housing (HHL) properties demolished, improvements to local shops and open spaces, a brand new community facility and more than 250 new mixed tenure homes built. Herefordshire Housing plan to support the development of an Energy Co-operative as part of the scheme which should help ensure local residents have access to efficient heating and lower fuel costs.

The new homes will be built over a planned six years programme with a mix of one and two bedroom flats, one bedroom bungalows and two, three and four bedroom houses. HHL will manage half of the properties with the rest to be sold by Keepmoat who are HHL’s development partner.

Herefordshire Housing has been working with the local community on plans for a number of years and the project is overseen by a Community Champions Steering Group which includes all three ward councillors and a local authority representative.

Paula Kennedy, Executive Director for Herefordshire Housing said, “We’re committed to ensuring that our neighbourhoods are some of the most popular in the county and with the support of local authority we will transform The Oval area.

“The community are at the heart of our regeneration plans and we’re looking to create a sustainable community with improvements to the environment and better access to local services as well as new homes.”

Councillor Russell B. Hamilton, cabinet member for environment, housing and planning said: “This is great news for people who live in this community who will really benefit from the redevelopment. The regeneration of the Oval area has been a longstanding priority and is overdue.  

“It demonstrates a real determination to raise the standard of housing and the environment in which people live.  This is a scheme that the community itself has expressed a desire to see and is a good example of partners working together with residents to make a real difference to this community.

“Giving the land to HHL to enable this demonstrates a  commitment to people in the local area and will ensure that all those involved are living in modern, decent and high quality homes with good local facilities; something which all residents can aspire to."