Greg welcomes progress on Byker refurbishment plans

September 10, 2009 10:30 PM

Newcastle East Lib Dem spokesman Greg Stone has welcomed a commitment from Housing Minister John Healey to ensure a task group reports back on options for refurbishing the listed Byker Estate before the end of the year.

The minister visited Byker today with Lib Dem council leader John Shipley and agreed to take a close interest in the city council's regeneration plans for the estate, noting that Byker is a "special case" which does not easily fit with conventional regeneration programmes.

Greg said "I was pleased that the minister endorsed our conservation-led approach to Byker refurbishment which recognises the need for effective collaboration with residents, Your Homes Newcastle, the Homes and Communities Agency, and English Heritage.

"After submitting a Freedom of Information request to the HCA, I am also pleased to see that our proposals have attracted strong support from the regional HCA and have scored well for its approach to consultation and involvement. The key challenge remains the funding issue, and I continue to hope the Government will back this important scheme"