The Mayor of Poole, Cllr Ann Stribley, has officially marked the completion of PHP and Borough of Poole’s joint £7.5m re-vamp of Sterte Court, days after the major refurbishment project received national acclaim for creating greener homes and reducing fuel poverty.
The transformed Sterte Court, which benefits from innovative, fully enclosed balconies, self-cleaning windows, thicker insulation, modern heating systems, roof-top solar panels and a stunning external design, scooped the prize at the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) awards.
To celebrate this achievement, and commemorate the end of the works, a specially organised community event, attended by the Mayor of Poole and Sterte residents, took place at Sterte Green. The Mayor unveiled a plaque and launched the Sterte community garden, which PHP has developed with passionate local residents.
Sixty-year-old Sterte Court, owned by Borough of Poole, is home to over 200 residents in two 10-storey towers and two four-storey blocks. Due to the development’s age and exposed waterfront location, much of the old insulation and external render was beyond repair, and the windows and roof were due for replacement. The old balconies were also affected by ‘cold bridging’ which caused condensation and damp to some of the flats.
Following two years of hard work on site, the re-vitalised Sterte Court now provides homes which are energy efficient, are cheaper to run, have excellent thermal insulation, require minimum external maintenance, and support a reduction in fuel poverty.
PHP held an initial budget of £6.9m, and worked with its main contractor, Keepmoat, to secure £40,000 from Green Deal, £144,690 from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and £339,000 from the Energy Savings Trust.
Over a hundred Sterte Court homes now boast large, glass-covered balconies which have increased residents’ living space by up to 19%. The provision of double patio doors allow additional light and the extra space enables residents to enjoy al-fresco dining, grow plants, or simply watch the world go by.
New, intelligent heating systems have been installed in every flat. Ongoing monitoring and resident information sessions, designed to optimise the use of the new systems, will ensure fuel bills are cut by a minimum of 30% - a saving of £150 a year. Additionally, photovoltaic panels installed on the roofs of the tower blocks will power communal lifts and lighting.
At the request of residents, a new community garden, featuring raised beds for growing fruit and vegetables, has been developed for the whole community to use. A children’s playground will also be opened later in the year.
Sterte Court resident Suzie Woffindale is delighted with her refurbished home. She said: “We used to be embarrassed by our homes, but now we couldn’t be prouder. The buildings look amazing. I particularly love my balcony, which I can use in all weathers. My neighbours and I can’t wait to start growing our own food in the new community garden!”
Joe Logan, Chief Executive, Poole Housing Partnership, said: “With the Sterte project now completed, Poole has a landmark it can be proud of. This refurbishment means that Sterte Court won’t need any further works for at least 30 years. The best part for me is seeing Sterte residents come together in a way they hadn’t before – and I look forward to seeing the community flourish for years to come.”
Cllr Karen Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, Borough of Poole, said: “Providing high-quality accommodation for our residents is one of our top priorities, and it is great to see the completion of this project to such high standards. Feedback from residents has been hugely positive, and the development will now provide safe, secure housing for Poole families for many years.”