The long-awaited regeneration of Dee Park estate in Tilehurst, Reading, has received the green light as Reading Borough Council and Dee Park Partnership have achieved financial close to deliver the £44 million first phase.

Over an eight-year period, hundreds of families will benefit from new and affordable homes as the 1960s-built estate covering 33 hectares is transformed in three phases at a total cost of £150 million. The new Dee Park will have 763 new homes, including 281 affordable homes, plus a new primary school, community centre and shops.

Phase one sees Dee Park Partnership, a consortium of Willmott Dixon Group and Catalyst Housing Group, deliver 264 new homes in a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments and two and three-bedroom houses. The tenure mix will be 140 homes available for private sale through Willmott Dixon Homes and 124 available for affordable rent through Catalyst. Phases two and three will follow during the eight year transformation period.

Willmott Dixon Homes aims to release the first homes for sale off plan later this year, with occupations starting in 2011. All building work will be carried out by Willmott Dixon Housing, with HTA the architects.
The project will also provide work opportunities for local companies, and will also see four local apprenticeships created.

Andrew Telfer, chief executive officer of Willmott Dixon’s regeneration business, says: “I am delighted we can now begin to deliver quality new housing for Dee Park. There has been much consultation with residents to agree the master plan and we look forward to continuing these close relationships as we realise a vision that will herald an exciting future for everyone at Dee Park.”

Rod Cahill, chief executive of Catalyst Housing Group, said: “The regeneration of Dee Park will benefit almost 800 families in the area. Our experience and expertise in regeneration, alongside Willmott Dixon, will enable us to create exceptional homes for people in a revitalised neighbourhood.”

Jo Lovelock, leader of Reading Borough Council, said: “This is a landmark day for residents who have waited so patiently while the plans went through many changes to reflect the community’s responses to consultation where possible. I look forward to working closely with DPP and local residents to turn the vision into reality.”

Norma Sinclair, chair of CRAG, said: "At last. After all the years CRAG members have, with the support of residents of Dee Park Estate, worked tirelessly to get to this monumental day. We are so pleased the promises we have made to residents are now going to be seen to come true. We thank everyone who has been involved with the project, and along with our ward councillors look forward to the day the first set of keys to a brand new home are handed over."

The views of residents have always been at the heart of the project. CRAG – Community Regeneration Action Group – has worked with residents to ensure everyone had the chance to have their say on designs and ideas for the new look Dee Park.

Every resident at Dee Park will benefit from the scheme, regardless of whether they move to a new home. The vision is to create an enhanced community environment with improved transport links, traffic calming measures, enhanced landscaping and local roads. There will also be better quality open space and play areas.

The Council will be talking to everyone whose home is due to be demolished, and families with children currently living in the 1960’s concrete flats will be offered the opportunity to move into new and improved homes.

The community teams from Willmott Dixon and Catalyst are also closely involved with supporting the re-housing process for people moving into new homes, and this includes ensuring targets for initiatives such as local employment are met.

For more information contact: Andrew Geldard, head of communications, on 01462 671852, or