Beds, Herts & Bucks

"Poor condition" housing estates set for £1bn upgrade

Bradville housing estate Image copyright YourMK
Image caption Many of Milton Keynes' tired council housing estates are as old as the town itself

Council housing in Milton Keynes is to undergo a £1bn makeover - half a century since it was established as a new town.

Priority has been given to seven housing estates across the borough deemed in urgent need of repair - and potentially - demolition.

Town planners said 20,000 people will be affected - and 8,500 homes. The work will last 15 years.

YourMK, which is behind the plans, said residents will not be "displaced".

A spokesman said the team was "exploring options" to pay for the work and did not rule out private sector investment, describing the financial process as "complex".

Priority estates

Milton Keynes was a pioneering housing development when it was was officially designated a town in January 1967.

But many of its early housing estates are now considered tired, run-down and in need of maintenance and structural repair.

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

A timetable for the regeneration was announced on Wednesday, with the first letters sent out to people living in Fullers Slade.

In the autumn, focus will shift to the Lakes estate and then in early 2018, North Bradville.

The consultation will continue over the next 18 months.

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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 last year to oversee the massive programme of upgrading.

A statement to residents on its website reads: "You do not need to do anything right now. No building or refurbishment work will start straight away. No decisions will be made about your homes or neighbourhoods without residents being fully involved."

Managing director David Gleeson said locals will be consulted on every aspect of the plans.

"It is not about displacement or about taking homes away," he said, "it's not about dispersing communities, and we are not here to take that away from them."

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

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