The Park Estate
In The Beginning
Leicester City Council purchased 248 acres of land in 1923 that would eventually become, after many years of building, The Park Estate. This was the Saffron Lane Estate’s original name.
The first houses on the estate were called ‘Boot Houses’ built using pre-cast concrete columns due to the shortage of bricks after World War I. Each house cost the council £465 to build (£20,000 nowadays), relatively cheap at today’s prices!
After World War I there was a huge housing boom across the whole UK with people needing housing quicker than it could be built. This is the main reason that the Council decided to build Boot Houses was the fact that they could be put up very quickly compared to brick houses. There were concerns about the longevity of concrete houses but the speed issue won over these concerns and the plan for the estate went ahead.
Serious defects with the Boot Houses were apparent by the 1980’s and a campaign to get them all replaced was started by the Saffron Lane Boot House Action Group. Chair of the group Arther Chimes was awarded an MBE in recognition of his work on getting the houses replaced and the final Boot House was demolished on Thursday 5th June 1997.