Just a year after GreenSquare's regeneration work began at Briar Leaze in Compton Bassett, the first resident has picked up the keys to her new home.
The redevelopment plans have seen the demolition of six older houses in Briar Leaze to make way for 13 new homes – a mixture of houses and bungalows for affordable rent, shared ownership and sale – and is the first major construction work in the area for 60 years.
It's only fitting that the first resident to receive the keys to her new home is 95-year-old Mrs Goodenough, who has lived in Briar Leaze for the past 70 years, and is a well-known, well-loved pillar of the community.
Mrs Goodenough has now moved into her new bungalow, which has been built on the plot of the house she lived in since 1971. She joked: "I keep saying that 'I'm going up the stairs' because I haven't got used to being in a bungalow yet!”
“I've been in my new home nearly a week and so far I think it's really lovely,” Mrs Goodenough continued. “ It's nice to be back on the same plot as my previous house and to have my familiar views out of the window. I think I'm in the best spot really!
"I've lived in Briar Leaze for 70 years and I'm grateful to have been here so long, and to be able to continue to live here. It's hard nowadays to being able to stay in places like this because new homes just aren't being built. But that's what GreenSquare is doing really, helping people to stay in the communities where they're happy."
Tom Chapman-Young, Regeneration Officer at GreenSquare, has worked closely with Mrs Goodenough, and all the residents in Briar Leaze who have been affected by the redevelopment.
He said: "We understood what a daunting prospect this was for Mrs Goodenough – asking her to move out of the home she'd lived in for nearly 50 years to another one up the road while we built her new bungalow – and having to watch while her previous house was demolished.
"But she has been very patient and she is an incredible lady! Her new bungalow is more heat efficient and easier for her to navigate around and we hope she will be very happy there.”
GreenSquare’s MD – Development, Barry Wood, visited Mrs Goodenough, along with her daughter Sally and son Peter, to welcome her to new home and hear more about her experience during the redevelopment.
Mrs Goodenough's daughter, Sally, said: "Taking into consideration my mum's age, as well as the emotional upheaval of having to move out of the home she had lived in for so long, we were naturally very nervous and uncertain at the beginning of this process.
"However, GreenSquare, and Tom, have been great. They have listened to us every step of the way and taken into consideration all of our concerns, acting upon any issues we flagged, in particular making the property she moved into temporarily safe and secure for her while she lived there.
"It's brilliant to see mum all settled into her new bungalow. It's been quite a journey, but this is a wonderful new home for her."
To find out more about development at GreenSquare, click here.