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Last Updated: Friday, 20 April 2007, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Stanhope revamp becomes a reality
Demolition of Stanhope flats
Two blocks of flats on the estate have already been demolished
Plans to redevelop a run-down council estate have moved a step closer with the ceremonial signing of contracts for the multi-million pound deal.

The project for the Stanhope Estate, in Ashford, Kent, ground to a halt last year when the council lost confidence in the consortium running it.

But under a new Private Finance Initiative, the management of the site is now with the Chrysalis consortium.

Work on the estate began in 2004 when two blocks of flats were pulled down.

The scheme will also see the demolition of shops and the redevelopment of the commercial area, as well as housing in place of five-storey blocks.

Stanhope Estate
The new look Stanhope Estate should be completed by 2012

The 400 new homes will be available for rent, shared ownership or sale over the next five years.

The day-to-day management of the council's housing stock will be taken over by housing association Moat.

Ashford Borough Council hopes the 200m, 30-year-deal, will transform the community, which has suffered with anti-social behaviour over the years.

Chief executive David Hill said: "Quality new housing designed to meet the community's needs, a more safe and secure environment and major investment will create a new identity for Stanhope and shake off its negative image.

"We have strived to ensure the project is deliverable, affordable and reflects the aspirations of the community."

The Stanhope Estate was built in the 1960s as overspill housing to relieve the pressure on over-populated London boroughs.


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