Regeneration plan is causing us nothing but distress, say Milton Keynes residents

Netherfield
Netherfield

Regeneration plans for rundown estates have come under fresh fire from members of  all seven affected residents’  associations.

In an open letter to all MK councillors, the spokesmen have accused officials of doing exactly the opposite of what they promised.

The group, which calls itself RORE (Residents of Regeneration Estates) said they were promised the billion pound plan would give them certainty and stability.

Instead, the “threat of wholesale demolition” has caused nothing but “uncertainty and distress” for the past three years, say RORE.

They also slammed the “toxic” YourMK approach, which they say has divided communities and turned neighbour against neighbour.

Ironically their outburst comes the same week that MK Council revealed residents’ favoured option for the Lakes Estate – the demolition of Serpentine Court – will cost a staggering £75m.

This would see all existing council houses replaced and new houses built for private sale of shared ownership.

RORE has hit out at this “profit-generation and property development”, saying

it demolishes communities and replaces green spaces with high density development.

They have also accused the council of by-passing most householders by setting up “undemocratic and secretive” Residents Steering Groups .

“We urge you to contact your residents associations to hear first hand about the situation,” they said

The facts behind regeneration MK.

What is the MK regeneration plan?

Seven “rundown” estates have been selected for a billion pound improvement programme to take place over the next 15 years. The estates are Fullers Slade, Tinkers Bridge, Netherfield, Coffee Hall, Beanhill, Bradville, and the Lakes Estate in Bletchley. The scheme will affect 20,000 people in 8,500 homes.

Will the homes be repaired or demolished?

Nobody knows yet. The YourMK partnership was set up by the council to deal with the consultation process to see what residents would prefer. But Your MK were removed from the consultation task earlier this year. The job they were doing was “not good enough”, said MK Council. Currently the first residents’ ballot, on the Lakes Estate, is going ahead, run by the council itself. Housing councillor Nigel Long (pictured) has promised to listen to residents and make sure they have “high quality homes of their choice”.

The Serpentine Court demolition option costs £75m alone. And that’s just one part of one estate. How will MK Council afford to upgrade all seven estates?

Some cash will come from its Housing Revenue Account and some will come via borrowing. A chunk will come from building new houses on the estates – and selling them. Nigel Long said: “We may have to establish a holding company to receive the borrowed money and develop the for sale housing.”