Middlesbrough homes demolition work under way

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Houses in Gresham
Image caption,
Many properties in the Gresham area are boarded up and derelict

Long-awaited work to demolish dozens of homes in Middlesbrough has started.

Plans to demolish houses in the Gresham area and replace them with modern homes were announced in 2005 but were hit by funding problems.

The scheme has been scaled back and now about 800 properties will be cleared instead of the original 1,500.

The first phase of the demolition started this week and will involve up to 150 houses.

The work is due to be completed by March next year and there will be further clearances over the next few years.

Residents have said uncertainty about the future of the community had damaged confidence and driven some people to move out of the area altogether.

Middlesbrough Council executive member for regeneration Councillor Charlie Rooney said: "I'm delighted this work is getting under way and local residents will soon see a very real difference to the area.

"I'm grateful to the residents of Gresham for the patience they have shown and we will do our best to keep any disruption to a minimum."

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