Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes estates 'let down' by £1bn repair plans

Bradville housing estate Image copyright YourMK
Image caption Milton Keynes was designated a new town in 1967 and some of its housing estates are looking tired

A residents' association chairman has resigned after claiming people on aging housing estates had been "let down and ignored" over £1bn regeneration plans.

Seven areas of Milton Keynes are due to be refurbished over 15 years, affecting 20,000 people in 8,500 homes.

Milton Keynes Council admitted mistakes had been made in the planning and consultation process so far.

It said it had "instigated a pause to allow time to reflect on residents' wishes".

Seven council estates were given priority for redevelopment - Netherfield, Coffee Hall, Tinkers Bridge, North Bradville, Fullers Slade, the Lakes and Beanhill.

A timetable was announced in April 2017, with the first letters sent out to people living in Fullers Slade, where building work is due to begin next year.

Image copyright YourMK
Image caption North Bradville (left) and Serpentine Court are among the seven council estates identified in most need of repair

YourMK - a partnership between Milton Keynes Council and Mears Group - was formed to oversee the programme of upgrading.

It promised to consult local people on every aspect of the plans.

'Thwarted'

Barrie Wilde, the chairman of Fullers Slade Residents Association, resigned claiming the council was not engaging with them or their ideas.

He said: "Every time we made moves forward we were just thwarted and, a year later, there's only one report on the estate and that's the report I produced.

"In the end, I said 'we're letting the estate down' and I'm not prepared to do that."

Image copyright YourMK
Image caption The Netherfield estate in Milton Keynes is one of seven given regeneration priority

Michael Kelleher, service director for housing regeneration at the council, said: "There have been mistakes on all sides and the council acknowledges things could have been better.

"It's clear that not all residents feel engaged, but we've been reviewing the way we work.

"Our proposals will be put forward to cabinet in July and my hope is they will make a difference and we'll be in a better position to work with residents."

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