Cllr Butt, Leader of Brent Council:
Since 2018, we have had thousands of conversations with you, the residents of St Raphael’s, to understand what you want for the future of your estate. I have been blown away by the strength of the community spirit I have seen, and want to thank everyone for getting involved.
Together we have developed two masterplans, one for infill development and one for redevelopment. It was always our aim to give you the choice of which masterplan we deliver, as long as both continued to be affordable.
Unfortunately, due to a number of factors, including uncertainty around the future availability of funding from the government, the redevelopment option is no longer affordable at this point in time. This means, as only the infill masterplan is affordable, we will not be going ahead with a ballot.
Whilst it is disappointing that we cannot offer you the option of redevelopment at this stage, I want to reassure you that our goal, to build new council homes and make St Raphael’s a great place to live, has not changed. Alongside building new council homes, we also want to invest significantly in your neighbourhood and your community over the coming months and years. We are calling this Infill Plus because it will be so much more than new council homes.
Infill Plus means:
- no homes will be demolished
- all the new homes built will be owned by the council, for rent to existing and new tenants
- tenants who are living in unsuitable housing will have the opportunity to move to one of the new homes
- we will continue to invest in existing council homes
- we will deliver significant estate-wide improvements
We want to create a future estate that benefits the whole community, and we need your input to help make this happen. In the autumn, Cabinet will decide how much money is available to design the plans for Infill Plus and it will review an initial list of improvements based on feedback received so far. Over the coming months, we will be asking you to confirm what changes you want to see on the estate and then, over the next few years, we will deliver these alongside the new homes.
In the meantime, we will start working straight away with St Raphael’s Voice to identify and deliver practical improvements to the day-to-day care of the estate. For example, we will be cutting the grass more often, removing abandoned vehicles and cutting back the overgrown bushes and trees. We will also continue to invest in existing homes, by ensuring repairs are done on time and addressing any major issues quickly and with a focus on quality.
We have created a newsletter (.pdf, 7.01MB) showing you what some of the estate improvements could look like. We have also tried to answer some questions you may have and we will be updating the website with lots more, however, if there is anything you want to know right now please don’t hesitate to get in touch.