Massive boost for Merstham regeneration

Plans for new shops, homes and community facilities in Merstham have received a massive boost.

For Reigate and Banstead Borough Council has committed to investing £2.6 million towards the area's regeneration.

The council’s investment is part of a £13.3 million scheme to regenerate the Portland Drive area of Merstham, in partnership with Raven Housing Trust and Surrey County Council.

They have committed £8.3 million and £2.3 million respectively.

A new food store and four shops will be built on the former Iron Horse pub site. Ten shared equity flats will be built above, on behalf of Raven, to provide more homes that local people can afford. A planning application for development is expected next month (February).

Three more shops and a new purpose-built community centre will be created on part of the Triangle site, incorporating Merstham library, a youth skills centre, training rooms, café, public IT resources and drop-in advice facilities. The centre will be managed by Surrey County Council in partnership with local organisations. Work on the developments is expected to get underway this autumn and be complete by autumn 2015.

Natalie Bramhall, borough council executive member for property and regeneration, said: “We made a commitment to provide better housing, create more accessible facilities and improve the quality of the shops for Merstham residents.”

She said: “This investment marks a massive landmark in delivering what we promised to improve the area for local people.” Surrey County Council cabinet member for assets and regeneration projects, Tony Samuels, said: "This is a great example of different Surrey organisations coming together as one team to improve people's lives.”

Coun Samuels said: “Vibrant new shops, homes, a library and youth facilities will transform Merstham and make it a more desirable, healthier and safer place to live and work."

Raven has already agreed to invest £8.3 million in the regeneration scheme to redevelop Purbeck Close and the Portland Drive shopping parade.

Jonathan Higgs, chief executive of Raven Housing Trust, said: “Raven is investing over £8 million in the regeneration of Merstham and the borough and county councils' decision to commit further substantial funding is a vote of confidence in the plans.”

He continued: “Our aim is to build homes and communities where people want to live and together with our partners we have taken a big step towards this for Merstham.” Work is expected to start on Purbeck Close soon, to build 40 homes, of which 11 will be affordable-rented, 19 shared-ownership and ten for sale on the open market. Raven were due to submit an outline planning application late last month to redevelop Portland Drive for 50 new market houses and flats, with the site then to be sold on to a developer to build and sell the new homes.

For more details on the regeneration proposals visit the website at: www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/mersthamregeneration

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