Vision revealed to revitalise Windsor social housing estate

More details have been released on plans to demolish a Windsor social housing estate and replace it with more than 400 new homes.

Sawyers Close has been transferred to housing group Abri, which is looking to redevelop the existing 1960s flat blocks into affordable ‘high quality homes’ and open space.

Early plans for the site were shared in April, with a public exhibition held at the New Windsor Community Association on Saturday, seeking people’s views on Abri’s latest proposals.

Feedback from the event will help shape a planning application early next year.

All of the 417 homes built will be affordable, Abri says, while it has also promised to plant more trees as part of the development and ensure that cars and parking do not ‘dominate’ the estate, with podiums concealing vehicles.

Across the scheme, a number of three and four-bed, three-storey homes will be built, along with apartment blocks ranging in height from three storeys to eight, the same height as the existing blocks.

Developers add that all apartments will have balconies, with homes benefitting from private gardens.

New community spaces – including a pump room and a cafe – are also planned as part of Abri’s vision for the site, while children’s play spaces are set for a revamp.

There will be ‘at least’ one car parking space per house, developers said, while existing residents will only have to move house once; into their new property once it is built.

Abri says that a final information session for the community on its plans will be held in January, with a planning application expected to be submitted to the Royal Borough in spring 2023.

If approved, construction is hoped to start in 2024 and complete in 2028.

“We are grateful to everyone who took the time to come along to our public exhibition on Saturday,” Abri said.

“We received a lot of feedback during the event which we will use to further develop our proposals.

“We were really pleased with the high level of turnout and engagement from our customers and neighbours. Over 140 people attended over the course of the day, and we have already received many feedback forms.

“We will also carry out our financial due diligence – ensuring that the costs are fully understood – before Abri approves the final design. We will then come back to the community for a final information event.”

Andy Skarzynski, executive director of strategy at Abri, said: “It was reassuring that so many people visited the exhibition to view the designs and speak to the project team.

“This is particularly important given that this stage of consultation included our neighbours as well as our customers and representatives of RBWM. We will continue to work with the wider community alongside our customers as we refine our plans.”

Councillor Samantha Rayner, deputy leader of the Royal Borough council and cabinet member for Windsor, added: “We are pleased to see the level of public engagement with the proposals for Sawyers Close and encourage everyone to view them and give their feedback ahead of the consultation deadline.

“We are continuing to work with our partners including Abri to improve access to affordable housing for our residents and to improve social outcomes for all in the Royal Borough. These exciting proposals represent a major investment in additional and improved social housing in Windsor and it’s important that the community continues to be involved in shaping them.”

Anyone who was unable to attend the public exhibition can view the proposals and give feedback via www.sawyersclose.com 

Residents can submit feedback until Friday, July 8.

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