Just how many MK homes will be demolished?

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The leader of the council has admitted he does not know how many family homes will be demolished during a massive regeneration programme of seven entire estates.

This week the council announced it was forming an equal partnership with a private company to carry out the multi million pound revamp.

The seven estates are among the top 15 per cent of the UK’s most deprived areas.

They are Beanhill, North Bradville, Coffee Hall, Fullers Slade, Netherfield, Tinkers Bridge and the Lakes Estate.

Because the council cannot afford to carry out repairs and rebuilds on its own, it has launched a new venture with the Mears Group, a public limited company that recorded a £42 million profit last year.

But, fresh from approving the partnership, ruling Labour Cabinet members are still woolly about the detail.

And already residents’ groups on the affected estates are fearing their homes will be bulldozed and their green spaces filled with hundreds of new profit-generating houses.

Council leader Pete Marland told the Citizen: “It’s too early to talk about demolition because regeneration is a complicated thing. But I can promise that all plans will be community led.”

Mr Marland was also vague about the number of extra houses planned.

But the Cabinet report states developments could range from small infill areas to “substantial neighbourhood remodelling” projects.

The council leader said it was “too early” to answer two of the most pressing questions from residents: where tenants will live while their homes are being remodelled and whether people who have bought their council homes will face massive bills.

“It will all be worked out in time,” he promised.

All seven soon-to-be regenerated estates were created during the recession and brick shortages of the early 1970s.

At the time MKDC general manager Fred Lloyd Roche decided to press on using alternative materials, such as wood and metal, rather than stall the vital development of the new city.

But Mr Roche announced publically that the houses would have a limited lifespan.

“I remember his speech,” said veteran Lib Dem councillor Sam Crooks. “He said they would last for 50 years – and that time is up.”