Milton Keynes residents vote to demolish 1960s estate

image captionResidents have voted to demolish flats like this at Serpentine Court

Plans to demolish a 1960s housing estate are a step closer after 93% of 206 residents voted for it to be razed.

Serpentine Court in Milton Keynes is the first area to hold a residents' ballot as part of a £1bn upgrade to council homes in the town.

Nigel Long, cabinet member for housing, described the weekend's ballot result as "fantastic".

But some residents have voiced concerns over future maintenance of the new homes and loss of green space.

Milton Keynes Council wants to redevelop Serpentine Court, on the Lakes Estate, as part of a wider plan to upgrade seven council estates in the next 15 years.

image captionJohn Orr, from Residents of Regeneration Estates, highlighted worries over the loss of green space

The 180 homes on Serpentine Court will be replaced by about 400 at a cost of £75m, if the plan goes ahead.

Residents voted on various options, including total demolition and rebuilding, in the community ballot which attracted a turnout of 84%.

image copyrightYourMK
image captionSerpentine Court as it looked back in 1975

Mr Long said residents would be involved in the next phase of redevelopment, which included drawing up detailed plans and agreeing how the scheme would be financed. He hoped building work would start in autumn 2019.

"The community needs to be at the heart of these decisions," said Mr Long, who described Serpentine Court as "well past its sell-by date".

John Orr, from Residents of Regeneration Estates, was encouraged by the ballot turnout but said lots of detail was still to be settled, including the potential loss of green space.

image captionResidents are worried that park areas like this could disappear in the redevelopment

The plan would double the footprint of Serpentine Court affecting homes nearby which were not involved in the ballot, he said.

Mr Orr said future maintenance of the new homes needed to be considered to prevent them falling into disrepair.

Mr Long said any lost open areas would be replaced with other green spaces and future maintenance would take place.

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