What does regeneration mean?
Some people think that regeneration is simply about building new homes where they’re needed and then removing the old worn-out ones. But there’s much more to it. Regeneration isn’t just about bricks and mortar. It’s about making positive and long lasting changes that will improve the lives of the people and families of Milton Keynes.
Milton Keynes Council are doing this, not only by improving homes and neighbourhoods, but also by providing opportunities for people to get jobs and training through our job clubs, and by encouraging and supporting the involvement of local people and groups in their community.
Milton Keynes Council are not responsible for delivering the majority of services or facilities within communities. However, regeneration offers a great opportunity for agencies to work together and make positive change to communities which will benefit all residents.
What are the priority neighbourhoods for Milton Keynes Council and why have they been selected?
There are seven priority neighbourhoods. These are, in alphabetical order:
- Coffee Hall
- Fullers Slade
- Lakes Estate
- North Bradville
- Tinkers Bridge
They have been selected due to the high numbers of council owned properties in these areas and their current condition.
Our data also tells us some residents in these areas need support in finding a job, improving skills, and improving health. Life expectancy for people living in these seven neighbourhoods is up to 12 years less than elsewhere in the borough, and this is unacceptable.
Housing is also a key factor, with many residents on low incomes paying much more to keep their homes heated than those in more energy efficient houses. Between September 2016 and April 2017, we carried out a survey of 8,500 council houses to understand what improvements are needed in these neighbourhoods.
Is this regeneration going to be like so many others that I have read about?
Regeneration is happening across the country. Some programmes elsewhere have been ‘developer led’ as they are the result of the sale of housing from public to private sector. Milton Keynes Council will work with local residents to understand the current condition of homes, design improvements to homes, and lift the quality of neighbourhoods, working in partnership with local people. However, we cannot guarantee there will be no demolition.
What if my area is developing a Neighbourhood Plan?
The development of a Neighbourhood Plan is generally led by parish/town councils. Although Neighbourhood Plans are not regeneration plans, they should contribute to the development of regeneration plans and, if agreed at referendum, will need to be considered in any regeneration plans.
If rebuilding takes place will there be a higher housing density?
Increased density is an enabler for regeneration, not an objective. If density increases we will have to comply with Milton Keynes Council’s requirements to provide increased infrastructure (roads, schools, community facilities) and will engage with teams in education, health and highways about requirements to be included in masterplans.
Will regeneration help tackle the homelessness problem in Milton Keynes?
No, not directly. However, Milton Keynes Council will be building new council homes to help alleviate the housing shortage issue.
Will people who own businesses or work in the area be included in the consultation?
The views of residents, business owners and any other stakeholders living and working in the area will shape the development of the masterplan.
Which of the priority neighbourhoods will be first?
Engagement will start in Fullers Slade first, in July 2017.
How has this been chosen to be first?
The housing condition surveys that were carried out on 8,500 council properties between September 2016 and April 2017, have informed what work is needed where.
In Fullers Slade the council owned properties are in need of significant investment, refurbishment or replacement.
This is mainly due to the age of the properties and how they were built. The large number of houses on the estate that are in this poor condition, coupled with other important factors such as the funding available and the scale of the work necessary, mean that Fullers Slade is the right place for regeneration work to start.
Are the results of the stock condition survey available to see?
The analysis information will be available to see on our website once this work has been completed.
How long will it all take?
The regeneration programme in Milton Keynes is a 15-year programme.
We will start engagement work in Fullers Slade in July 2017.
Followed by Serpentine Court in September 2017.
How will regeneration be funded?
No two projects are alike, and while housing finance can seem complex, there are a range of possible options that we will be looking at. These are set out below. It should be noted that the eventual solution could be a blend of these. Other options may evolve as we progress. Ultimately we have to ensure that whichever option(s) are chosen that they represent value for money.
Housing Revenue Account
This is money controlled by the Council which has to be used for the benefit of tenants of Milton Keynes Council. This can include works to improve or replace social housing. While it might be helpful as part of the regeneration scheme it is subject to a number of legal restrictions and the funds available will not be sufficient to do everything that is needed.
The council could borrow the money from the banks or other institutions and then lend it to us at a rate of interest that is beneficial to us but still ensures that they make a surplus. This would then be repaid to the Council over an agreed period of time.
How will the community be involved with the selection of the appointment of an Independent Resident Advisor?
Milton Keynes Council have selected 3 organisations that provide independent advice to residents during the regeneration process. These are First Call Housing, PPCR and PEP. In each area, residents will be given the opportunity to meet each of these organisations and choose their preferred company.
Will the carbon footprint and impact on air quality be a consideration of the programme?
We will follow any national guidelines and best practice and are in conversation with the appropriate team at Milton Keynes Council. We will publish all information on our website when it is available.
Last Updated: 1 April 2020