Milton Keynes’ billion pound regeneration plan dissolves into “an absolute mess”, residents claim.
The first phase of Milton Keynes’ billion pound regeneration scheme has proved an unmitigated disaster, say residents.
The massive scheme was launched more than a year ago on Fullers Slade, the first of seven ageing estates chosen for a revamp.
But tension between the residents’ association and regeneration company Your MK has become so bad that the council has called a pause on proceedings, saying it “needs time to reflect”.
MK Council owns half of Your MK after setting up as a 50:50 partnership with the private Mears Group plc.
Residents are now accusing Your MK of putting profit before people after it published a list of options that could almost treble the size of Fullers Slade.
It is understood one option involved demolishing the entire 450-dwelling estate apart from 87 privately-owned homes left to form an official ‘historic quarter’. Some 1,000 new homes would then be built.
This option has since been dismissed as “just an idea” and there has been no further communication with the residents’ association, whose main three officials resigned in disgust this month.
“There’s a regeneration steering group of 20 residents, but Your MK made them sign a confidentially agreement. We don’t know what is happening. It’s a absolute mess,” claimed chair Barrie Wilde, who has resigned in protest along with the secretary and treasurer.
Michael Kelleher, the regeneration director for MK Council said: “There have been mistakes on all sides and the council acknowledges things could have been better. It’s clear that not all residents feel engaged but we’ve been reviewing the way we work.”
He added: “Our proposals will be put forward to cabinet in July and my hope is they will make a difference and we’ll be in a better position to work with residents.”
The sorry saga of Fullers Slade does not bode well for the other six estates earmarked for regeneration, say residents.
The other estates are
Coffee Hall, Netherfield, Tinkers Bridge, Beanhill, North Bradville and The Lakes in Bletchley.
Around 20,000 residents will be affected, but none of them yet know whether their homes will be demolished or revamped.
Homeowners and private tenants still have no idea of the cost implications.