A seven-year £36 million project to demolish and replace two high-rise blocks of flats in Berry Brow has started.

Kirklees Council has a six-part plan, starting with helping tenants find new homes. The tenants being asked to move will be paid compensation and given ‘priority’ when bidding for new council properties.

In 2021 tenants voted for Bishop’s Court and Holme Park Court to be flattened amid safety fears in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.

The high-rise blocks are set to be replaced by low-rise alternatives. Last year the plans were said to cost £57 million. Now the council has suggested a figure of £36.78 million.

The six phases are: 

  • Phase 1 – Supporting tenants and leaseholders to move out;
  • Phase 2 – Designing the new homes;
  • Phase 3 – Public consultation;
  • Phase 4 – Finalising designs, obtaining planning permission and Cabinet approval;
  • Phase 5 – Demolishing existing buildings;
  • Phase 6 – Building the new homes.

Housing officers are now starting phase one of the plan and will begin by individually supporting tenants at Bishop’s Court to find new homes.

To make sure every tenant gets the support they need, five floors will be prioritised at a time, starting with Bishop’s Court before moving onto Holme Park Court once the entire block is empty.

Tenants living on priority floors will be categorised as Band B, giving them the highest banding possible when bidding on properties on the council’s housing register ‘Choose N Move.’

It is expected it could be two years before all tenants are moved out and plans to redevelop the site can begin.

Clr Cathy Scott, Cabinet member for housing and democracy, said: “After listening to our tenants’ views on the future of the Berry Brow high rise flats, I am pleased we are now able to start the process of redeveloping the flats and start talking to our tenants to support them in finding alternative places they would like to live.

“We have a dedicated team in place to offer our tenants one-to-one support during this process and to also assist them with moving costs, as well as compensating them for the loss of their home.

“We appreciate this will be an unsettling time and will do everything we can to help to support our tenants through this process and ensure they are satisfied with their new homes.”

Dedicated council housing officers will work closely with tenants to find them suitable housing and support them with the moving process.

Work will also begin on developing plans for new build social housing on the Berry Brow site, with draft designs expected to be ready for public consultation by summer 2023.

An information day for tenants is being held on Friday June 24 to provide residents with the opportunity to ask any questions or discuss any issues.

Council officers will be on hand at Bishop’s Court from 12 noon to 7pm to speak to residents and will be joined by other organisations offering additional support.

For further information about the Berry Brow redevelopment, please email HNBerryBrow@kirklees.gov.uk.