What is happening at St Raphael's
We want to help improve the lives for residents living on St Raphael’s, while creating more good quality, affordable homes for local people.
So we need to think carefully about the future of the estate, bringing together residents, businesses, stakeholders and industry experts to decide the best ways to do this. Nothing has been decided, and no ideas are off the table. However, all options need to be affordable so that they can be delivered.
Why St Raphael’s?
In conversations so far, residents have told us that they have three main local priorities:
- Clean, safe streets and open spaces, with crime and anti-social behaviour a thing of the past
- Better connections and transport links with the rest of the borough; and
- Good quality homes which the can be proud of.
We know that there are also overcrowding, safety and environmental problems on the estate, which residents want improved, and issues with higher than average child poverty and unemployment.
We are committed to working with the local community to deliver these priorities, and making a real and long lasting difference for people who live on the estate.
In addition, through clever design, St Raphael’s could help the council to create more affordable homes in the borough. New homes would help to reduce homelessness and shorten the waiting list for council housing. Depending which approach is chosen by the community, new homes could also help to pay for improvements to the estate.
Doing nothing isn’t an option.
There are two approaches being considered for St Raphael’s:
- Redevelopment. This approach would remodel the estate or part of the estate. Some or all of the existing homes and facilities would be demolished over a period of time, with brand new homes, facilities and shops built in their place, and improvements made to open spaces and access. All existing residents would be able to access an affordable new home within the estate, and all council tenants would retain their tenancy.
- Infill development. In this approach no homes would be demolished, but new homes would be added to existing blocks and built on other open spaces. Retained council owned homes would be maintained as normal and, depending on the amount of new build, there could be some minor estate improvements. All residents would retain their existing home.
We are fully committed to a community-led approach towards improving St Raphael’s. Whichever approach is chosen, everyone who wants to will be able to stay living in their community. Ultimately, residents will make the final decision about what future option is delivered.
The ‘infill development approach’ has also been talked about as ‘refurbishment with limited new build’. As a good landlord we are always looking at providing the refurbishment necessary to council-owned properties. Whichever approach is ultimately preferred by residents, we will aim to align our investment programme so that we can carry out refurbishment to retained homes, where needed, at the same time as creating new homes. This will include refurbishment inside people’s homes, to the interior and exterior of blocks and landscaping where necessary.
We want you to get involved and have your say as we explore the possibilities for the future of St Raphael’s.