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Work underway on front wall improvement scheme

Published on Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Front wall building work in Evington Road

WORK is underway on a pilot scheme to rebuild and improve the fronts of nearly two dozen houses in a busy Leicester community.

Leicester City Council is investing £150,000 to work with householders along a stretch of Evington Road and St Stephens Road, to replace or rebuild shabby, damaged or missing front garden boundary walls and gates.

The city council is working with construction trade students from Leicester College to carry out the work on 23 mostly privately-owned properties along the road. Many of the terraced houses have missing front garden walls, where they have either collapsed in disrepair, or been removed over time and never replaced.

In some cases householders have not rebuilt them to prevent them being used by people congregating and sitting on them, and due to concerns over related antisocial behaviour.

The work will take place over the next few weeks, and will involve some temporary closures on the pavements, although the roads will remain open.

The city council has entered into legal agreements with the property owners to carry out the work, which will see the removal of any existing walls in poor condition, and replacing them with one-metre high boundary walls, with the option of a new metal gate.

In many cases, walls will be topped with diagonally-placed bricks to create an surface to deter people from sitting on them.

Householders will contribute a nominal sum of £1 each to enter into a legal agreement with the council to carry out the works.

It is the first stage of a number of similar schemes planned for communities across the city over the coming years, and builds on previous work carried out in the 1990s at many locations across the city.

That work helped vastly improve the appearance of properties, in turn prompting confidence and investment among property owners.

Leicester assistant city mayor for neighbourhoods, Cllr Kirk Master, said: “This work will really help improve the appearance of key streets into the city. Parts of Evington Road St Stephens Road unfortunately look very shabby in parts due to damaged or missing front walls and gates.

“Previously, investment of this sort in other parts of the city has been really beneficial in terms of lifting the whole area, and boosting confidence and investment in those areas as a result.

“We carried out a programme of similar work in the 1990s but weren’t able to cover all areas of the city, which is why we are revisiting the scheme now.

“This time around, we are working with construction students from Leicester College to give them the chance to get involved and hone their skills as well as getting them involved in an important local scheme.”

Funding for the pilot scheme is coming from the city council’s Capital Programme budget. A new pot of funding is being made available specifically to create enclosed spaces such as front gardens in terraced homes.