Smirthwaite in Wakefield was built in 1965 and has 311 properties. Unfortunately, since 2010, there was a reduction in demand for homes on the estate, mainly as a result of reputational issues, antisocial behaviour, poor quality external environment and a high concentration of single people on benefits. The introduction of the welfare reforms, particularly the bedroom tax, also contributed to the abandonment of properties and terminated tenancies.
A regeneration plan was developed to address concerns, increase demand and ensure the long-term sustainability of the estate. This amounted to a significant investment to carry out a two year regeneration programme. The work started in 2014 and was completed in 2017.
Initial analysis shows a positive shift. We have experienced a 42% reduction in ASB communications on the estate and another 42% reduction in calls to West Yorkshire police. So far the changes have resulted in £130,000 annual cost savings.