Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes housing estate votes for regeneration

Fullers Slade Image copyright Google
Image caption Council homes in Fullers Slade could now be upgraded and refurbished

More than half of people living on a housing estate have voted to see it transformed with affordable new homes and a community hub.

Residents of Fullers Slade, in Milton Keynes, chose a refurbishment plan after two years of discussions with Milton Keynes Council.

The ballot is the second to be held in the town as part of the authority's £1bn regeneration scheme.

A full planning application will be submitted next year.

In 2017, it was announced that seven estates, deemed in urgent need of repair, could be demolished.

They were Netherfield, Coffee Hall, Tinkers Bridge, North Bradville, Fullers Slade, the Lakes estate in Bletchley, and Beanhill.

However, the Labour-run council confirmed in July this year that "wholesale demolition would not happen" and it wanted to "improve" some estates instead.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Spider Park will be enhanced and extended, the council said

The first ballot was held in Serpentine Court on the Lakes estate - where locals voted massively for demolition in 2018.

A vote was taken in Fullers Slade on 29-30 November this year, with 55% voting for refurbishment of council houses. Demolition was not an option on the ballot paper.

Spider Park will also be "extended and enhanced" and a "hub for the community" created with shops and extra parking.

Michael Kelleher, the council's director of housing and regeneration, said: "We have made it clear from the outset that it's local people who will decide on the future of their estate.

"We will continue talking with local people as we prepare to submit a planning application."

Sylvia Airs, chairwoman of the Fullers Slade residents' steering group, said it was "not the end of the regeneration process, but simply the end of the first stage".

"We will continue to help develop a plan that will ensure Fullers Slade homes, estate and the community becomes the very best it can be and a place we are proud to call home," she added.

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