Residents of Fullers Slade in Milton Keynes will get only three regeneration options to vote for in November ballot, says council chief

Milton Keynes Council Chamber
Milton Keynes Council Chamber

Residents will be given only three regeneration options to vote for in a ballot to determine the future of their estate, it has been revealed.

Answering a question from a member of the public, Milton Keynes Council’s Cabinet member for housing said he could not reveal which of four original approaches had been rejected, until an official announcement is made.

David Lee, the secretary of Residents of Regeneration Estates (RoRE), asked if financial viability rules would apply to the Fullers Slade ballot, planned for November 29 and 30. He said there are current viability gaps of up to £93.4million.

“The hopes of residents of Fullers Slade should not be raised by giving them options that are later ruled out on financial grounds,” he said.

Cllr Nigel Long (Lab, Bletchley West) said: “I can confirm that all options going on to the forthcoming ballot on Fullers Slade will be financially deliverable.

“We are working with our consultants on both viability and value for money of each option. We are, for example, looking to increase the number of affordable homes by 100 in the emerging option 3.6.”

A workshop was held behind closed doors at the council on Tuesday involving the residents steering group, consultants Savills, and senior council officers to consider the options.

“The final options are currently being slightly revised to reflect what the residents said yesterday,” said Cllr Long. “I expect there to be three financially deliverable options on the ballot paper."

Mr Lee responded: “This is the first time we’ve heard of three options being on the ballot paper instead of four. Can you clarify further which option of the four that have been discussed have been dropped?”

And Cllr Long responded: “I think the debate on the options took place yesterday and I think there is going to be a joint statement by the residents’ steering group and council on this matter. I don’t think at this stage I can identify the option that has dropped off the table.”

A council spokesperson said after the meeting that the timing of the announcement had not been decided.

The approaches that were being worked on before Tuesday’s meeting were:

Approach 1 – No redevelopment, with the number of properties staying at 453. This means improving the current repairs and maintenance service, although Fullers Slade will have to compete with other areas for resources.

Approach 2 – Refurbishment and infill development. Council homes would be refurbished with £7.5million over 10 years. Some 192 more homes would be built.

Approach 3 – Refurbishment, infill and enhanced estate improvements. There would be about 371 additional homes, including refurbishment of 252 council homes.

Approach 4 – Full redevelopment. It involves full demolition, replacement building, and adding about 819 new homes, effectively tripling the population of Fullers Slade to 1,253 homes.