Residents to have say on future of tower blocks

Tuesday 24 November 2020

Tenants and leaseholders at Mellish Court and The Gables are being asked what the future of these two MK Council owned tower blocks should be.

Earlier this month, the council met with residents to discuss two options – to build new properties at the sites or strip the buildings back to their original structure for complete refurbishment. On 1 December, the Council will make a formal decision to consult with residents, so they can continue to be at the heart of the decision and subsequent proposals. MK Council has made it clear that its preferred option is to rebuild on the sites.

Either option would mean finding council tenants a new home. The council has been contacting residents about applications to move and will work with its tenants to find homes that are right for them and their families.  All council tenants will have the options to move back to the new or refurbished homes at Mellish Court or The Gables if they wish.

The decision on 1 December also covers council tenants being eligible for home loss and disturbance payments when they move. It will also enable the council to start the process of buying back leasehold properties.

Cabinet member with responsibility for council housing, Cllr Emily Darlington said: “We believe that building new homes at Mellish Court and The Gables will provide the best long-term solutions, and the consultation is an opportunity for tenants and leaseholders to tell us what’s important to them.

“We’re already in touch with our tenants about finding the right homes for them and will continue working closely with everyone involved throughout the process.”

Last month, the council implemented 24/7 wardens at each building as a precautionary measure. This followed thorough inspections at Mellish Court and The Gables ahead of expected changes in government regulations on tall buildings, and in response to a small recent fire at The Gables.

Working jointly with industry experts and the Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, the findings from September 2020 show that both buildings which were built 60 years ago were not built to today’s modern standards.