A COUNCIL estate in Southampton is set to be transformed after £15m plans were passed.

The flagship scheme at Hinkler Parade in Thornhill is the first in a series of regeneration projects across the city.

Seventeen shops – many of which are boarded up – and 22 flats, and a five storey block of 16 flats in Marston Road, will be ripped down.

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The 1960s buildings will be replaced with 106 new homes, five new shops and a community centre. The homes will be available for sale, rent and shared ownership.

Housing chiefs at Southampton City Council appointed Barratt Homes builders and First Wessex housing association to carry out the project after a bidding contest. Residents were consulted over the proposed designs to change the image of the area.

Council housing boss Councillor Phil Williams said: “We have worked hard to get to this important milestone. Estate regeneration is a key part of the council’s commitment to improve the quality of lives for local communities. We are now one step closer to building some high quality homes and a local community centre, putting pride back into the community and giving families a place they really want to be now and in the future. We are about building community.”

Trixie Nielson, chairman of the ten-year Thornhill Plus You community project, said: “I think the council is to be congratulated on the way it has led this project, consulting with local people.”

Almost £2m of Government funding towards the scheme had been under threat following a £4m cut to a £9m fund for housing growth in south Hampshire.

But the Partnership for Urban South Hampshire, a group of local councils that allocate the cash, decided the Hinkler Parade scheme should not suffer.

The City Council will part-fund the scheme by selling the land to its chosen developer. The scheme could be replicated across other city sites in coming years meaning that at least 1,000 new homes are built.