Redundant housing finds a new life as council homes in Barnsley

Council housing stocks in Barnsley are being given a boost under a deal which will see some redundant National Health Service housing redeveloped to provide a dozen new homes rent.

Thursday, 14th February 2019, 1:28 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th February 2019, 1:32 pm
Transformation: Keresforth Close will be reborn as council homes by mid-summer

Keresforth Close at Kingstone was developed to provide homes for hospital staff but as the need for that subsided, they were taken over for use as clinics and other medical services.

Changes at Barnsley Hospital meant those services were moved to the main site at Pogmoor, leaving the buildings to stand vacant for around four years, before they were bought by Barnsley Council.

Now Berneslai Homes, the council’s ‘arms-length’ management company used to take care of the town’s council housing, is redeveloping the homes to provide 12 family homes, including one with a ground floor bedroom and bathroom to make it suitable for use by a disabled occupant.

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When the homes, which are being stripped to their shells and rebuilt to modern standards with double glazing, new heating systems, kitchens and other fixtures, are ready for tenants around June, they will help to plug the demand for rented homes in the area.

However, the project has other benefits because Berneslai Homes are also doing other work in the immediate area to improve footpaths which provide pedestrian links towards the town centre, which is 15 minutes away on foot, without having to venture onto major roads.

Ron Brannon, Berneslai Homes’ development and partnership manager, said: “The route through the allotments will be tidied up and made safe.

“Because we are a public authority, we will try to do things within our development scope to add to the area.

“Tidying this area up also makes it better for all residents around there,” he said.

As NHS services move away from the Keresforth Close area, it is expected more land may become available for housing development and it is hoped the fact that new homes will be established there through the current scheme will help to make the area more attractive to other potential developers.