Frequently Asked Questions
This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about the future of St Raphael's. The tabs provide additional information for council tenants, homeowners and leaseholders, private tenants and households living in temporary accommodation.
What is happening at St Raphael's?
Brent Council wants to improve the experience of living on St Raphael’s estate for everyone, while also increasing the amount of affordable housing for local people. We are working with local residents, community stakeholders and industry experts to work out the best ways to do this. The process is called masterplanning because we will be developing a high level (master) plan.
What will the masterplans focus on?
We are considering two approaches to improve the experience of living on St Raph’s and increase the amount of affordable housing: infill development and redevelopment. A masterplan will be developed for each approach.
With infill development, new homes would be built on open spaces and no existing homes would be demolished. Depending on the amount of new homes built, it might be possible for the council to fund some estate improvements but this is likely to be limited. Existing council homes would be maintained as they are now.
With redevelopment, all or part of the estate would be redesigned. Some or all of the existing homes and facilities would be demolished in phases over a long period, with new homes, parks and community facilities built.
Because of the housing shortage in the borough, doing nothing is not an option.
Which parts of St Raph’s will be included in the masterplans?
We are recommending that only the area known locally as ‘St Raphael’s Estate’ be included within the future masterplans, and that the area known locally as the ‘Old Estate’ is removed from the masterplanning exercise. The recommendation follows extensive consultation with residents and a detailed study of the design and financial considerations around the proposals. Only residents living within this area would be eligible to vote in the ballot.
The area to be included within the masterplans includes the following roads:
- Bentham Walk
- Besant Way
- Hardie Way
- Henderson Close
- Lansbury Close
- Lilburne Walk
- Lovett Way
- Owen Way
- Pitfield Way
- Overton Close
- Rainborough Close
- Tillett Close
A map of the area to be included is on page 3 of Frequently Asked Questions - December 2019
Is the council listening to what residents want?
Yes - we are committed to a community led approach to developing the masterplans. This is because only by working with the people who live and work here will we be able to deliver the best plan for the future of the area.
We want residents to have their say, which is why a big consultation is currently taking place. Since December 2018 we have held public meetings, drop in sessions, workshops, public exhibitions and a community day. We have provided training and organised two visits to other redevelopment and infill schemes elsewhere in London. We have also been knocking on doors, speaking to as many people as possible. Information has been shared with you through newsletters and leaflets delivered to your door, e-newsletters, social media and posters around the local area.
It is vitally important that you take part in the process, so that your views are included. If you do not take part, and tell us what you think, your views will not be heard. If you have been unable to access the information provided so far, for any reason, please get in touch
How can I have my say?
Upcoming events are published on the Future Events page. You can also sign up to receive email updates, SMS reminders or join our Facebook Group. We also publish all upcoming events in newsletters, and deliver leaflets to all households the week before with all the details. If you would prefer not to attend events, you can email us your feedback.
You can also have a chat with our Community Engagement Officer Mohamoud over a cup of tea. Give him a call on 07776 665 226 to arrange a convenient time.
Why has the original timeline changed?
The timeline has changed for two reasons. Firstly, we wanted to hear a range of views about which areas of the estate should be included in the masterplans. Secondly, we wanted to allow more time to work with you to develop the masterplans.
Co-design for the redevelopment option will now take place in January 2020, with additional co design sessions taking place before the resident ballot in autumn 2020. View the timeline
How will a decision be made?
The two masterplans developed with you will be put to a public vote, where you will be able to vote yes or no for redevelopment. This vote is currently planned to take place in autumn 2020 but this date might change if we need more time to work with you on the development of the masterplans.
Of those residents and homeowners that vote, if the majority vote ‘yes’ for the redevelopment option, then this will be taken forward. If the majority vote ‘no’, then the infill option will be delivered.
Why does there have to be a ballot?
The council would need to apply to the Mayor of London for funding to help deliver the redevelopment. New rules from the Mayor mean that we must show that you support any plans that require demolition, which is why there needs to be a public vote. This means that what happens will be community-led, as the council cannot move ahead with redevelopment unless the majority of residents and homeowners want it. The Mayor sets who can vote, and the ballot will be managed by an independent body appointed by the council.
Will there still be a ballot if there is clear support for either infill or development?
Yes. Residents and homeowners will make the decision about whether they want to progress with redevelopment or not at the ballot. If residents vote no to redevelopment at the ballot, then the infill option will be progressed.
Why is there not a refurbishment option?
The term refurbishment means the process of bringing things or keeping things up to an agreed standard. All homes owned by the council are already maintained to an agreed standard. This maintenance will continue regardless of whether the infill or redevelopment approach is delivered.
If the infill approach is progressed following the ballot, the council might be able to fund other estate improvements but this is likely to be limited and would not include improvements to council homes over and above the existing maintenance programme. There would be no council-funded improvements delivered to privately owned homes (including those owned by Housing Associations) as a result of any infill development, and no improvement to leasehold homes beyond that for which the council already has a duty.
How many new homes would infill development or redevelopment create?
Co-design workshops between residents and Karakusevic Carson Architects are exploring the masterplan options, including the number of homes that could be delivered through each approach. Workshops for infill development were held in November 2019, and workshops for redevelopment will take place in January 2020. Following completion of the workshops, your design team will take your ideas, along with any site constraints and planning guidelines, and develop initial masterplans to share with you for further review and input. This is likely to happen in spring 2020.
How would either approach be funded, and what other organisations would be involved?
If the infill development option were progressed, the council would fund it alongside a grant from the Greater London Authority (GLA) if it were available. The council has not decided how it would fund redevelopment if this were chosen, but it would likely be a mixture of council funding, grant funding from the GLA and borrowing.
For the redevelopment approach, is the council proposing partial or full redevelopment of the estate?
Through the ongoing co-design work with residents, both full and partial redevelopment will be considered (working within the site and design constraints). It is important that you attend the redevelopment design workshops in January 2020 to explore the options with your design team.
For the redevelopment approach, what percentage of homes and tenancies would remain owned and managed by the council?
We will not know this information until the masterplan is finalised, and funding and delivery methods are agreed. However, we want to increase the number of homes we own and manage rather than reduce them. If redevelopment were progressed, around half of the new homes built would be affordable or social homes, with the rest being for private sale to help fund the redevelopment. Some affordable and social homes would be owned and managed by the council, and some would be owned by Housing Association partners.
For the redevelopment approach, would there be an increase in monthly rent for council tenants?
We are aware of the current rents paid by council tenants living in St Raphael’s Estate. If redevelopment is residents’ preferred option for the future of the estate, we will aim to keep rents for existing tenants as near to their current rents as possible.
For the redevelopment approach, would there still be leasehold/freehold properties?
Yes. We would aim for a mix of property types across the new estate. This level of detail will be developed for when the masterplan is submitted for planning consent.
If redevelopment were delivered, what size would my new home be?
All new homes would be built to current national space standards, which are larger than the space standards the existing properties on the estate were built to.
For council tenants, the exact size of your new home would be dependent on your specific housing needs. New council homes in Brent have won several major industry awards in recent years, reflecting our commitment to providing the highest quality, affordable council housing.
If redevelopment were delivered, would adult children be rehoused with their parents?
If your family would like to explore a split tenancy, then that is an option, and we would be happy to speak to you about your individual situation. Please email us
If redevelopment were delivered, would my ‘Right to Buy’ remain protected?
Council tenants moving to a new council-owned property will retain their secure tenancy and all of the secure tenancy rights that goes with it (e.g. Right to Buy). However, your discount may be reduced by a rule called the cost floor. This means that the discount you receive cannot reduce the price you pay below that which has been spent on building the property. For more information visit the Right to Buy website or email us
What will happen to private tenants for either option, and will they be able to vote?
For the infill option, none of the existing homes would be demolished so residents who are private tenants would remain in their current homes.
For redevelopment, the council will need to develop an offer for all existing residents and homeowners, including private tenants, which will be available in spring / summer 2020.
A summary of who can vote in the resident ballot will be published soon.
Will Karakusevic Carson Architects and PPCR remain as the architect and independent advisor for the whole of the project?
Both Karakusevic Carson Architects and PPCR were commissioned to support the project up to the end of the resident ballot. We will then need to commission a new design team, or extend the commission of the existing design team, to develop the detail of the masterplan (infill or redevelopment) for submission for planning consent. We will also review the appointment of the Resident Advisor, as this role is not typically required for infill development.
What options do residents have if they want to leave the estate before the infill or redevelopment process begins?
We want to support the existing community to stay together during and after whichever approach is delivered for the estate. However:
- If you are a homeowner or leaseholder and you wish to leave for any reason, you can sell your home on the open market as normal or approach Brent Council to buy your home from you.
- If you are a council tenant and you wish to leave the estate, there might be an opportunity to swap your home for a home elsewhere in the borough. Please email us in the first instance.
Tenants of Housing Associations should speak to their Housing Association representative.
Has there been a resident ballots anywhere else in Brent?
Yes. We held a resident ballot in South Kilburn in autumn 2019, on whether to continue with plans to rebuild 1,400 council homes and provide new community facilities. 72% of residents took part in the ballot, with 84% voting in favour of the redevelopment proposal.
When will the next public meeting take place?
Between June 2019 and November 2019 there have been plenty of opportunity for residents to ask questions and get answers from the council. The project and design team have held four public events and 10 public design workshops. There have also been four estate walkabouts, three training sessions for St Raphael’s residents and two study trips to other redevelopment and infill sites. These events have been supported by day-to-day engagement through door knocking, drop in sessions at Henderson House, email correspondence and face-to-face updates.
To complement the engagement that has taken place so far, we will also be organising a meeting where residents will have the opportunity to ask questions of the council’s senior management team – similar to a council cabinet meeting. We want to do this when there is new information to talk about, so it will most likely take place in the spring or early summer 2020. We will publicise the event in advance.
We will continue to update this page with new information as it becomes available. However, if you have a question, please email us