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last updated: October 5, 2005

The Central Estates

These are a group of five estates built near to the centre of the City with a very high proportion of high-rise properties mostly built in green 'park' environments which are now seen as unsafe and are unused. The area includes the two highest residential blocks built in Britain (32 storeys). This group of estates was transferred to Optima Community Association under the Estates Renewal Challenge Fund in 1999 and is undergoing major regeneration at the present time.

The estates were selected for this regeneration programme because they were regarded as among the most problematic in the City and because of resident demands for investment in the estate. The area consists of some 3,000 properties in the social rented sector. It has very high levels of deprivation and a mixed community with about 30 per cent of the population from minority ethnic groups.

The present policies are aimed to change the mix of property types and sizes and to introduce a greater mix of tenures. Substantial demolition and re-building to higher density is involved and there is an active programme of socio-economic regeneration designed to complement the investment in properties. Because of the proximity to the City Centre some of the new development in the area will be of private housing and it is hoped to attract higher income households to this accommodation as well as providing opportunities for lower cost home ownership.