I just wanted to say thank you for those maintaining the Ravensbury Grove blog and keeping it up to date and to give a few comments of my own. I came to the second residents’ meeting but had plans last week so couldn’t make the latest one.
The purchase of my maisonette on Ravensbury Grove (as leaseholder) only went through in November 2012. I had a full survey done, highlighting no major problems. I was happy to move into a well proportioned maisonette in a green and leafy suburb which has its own section of the communal back garden. You can only imagine my horror when less than 12 months later, I realised the ‘regeneration’ being talked about was actually flattening of my home. To suggest this is needed to ‘deal with concerns residents have told us’ about seems nonsensical – people may think, to quote one ‘problem’, that the streetlighting is dim but bulldozers are not the answer. My block of maisonettes has bin/tool stores so concerns about bin storage are moot too for at least sections of the estate and maintaining the paving does not seem like rocket science either.
I’d have more sympathy with the regular highlighting of ‘ongoing maintenance problems’ as one reason for a major regeneration if maintenance/repairs were dealt with in an efficient and effective way. For two repairs I have raised (one a leak, one a security gate) I was in contact with the repairs team 12+ times over months, had the wrong thing ‘fixed’, was not given notice of visits and saw numerous promises to call me back broken…(I could go on). If Circle believes more resources are needed for general maintenance over the longer term I’d be interested in a figure showing the impact on rents/service charges. Then residents could understand the implication of regeneration not being pursued.
My partner and I don’t see a 1 bed maisonette as a ‘forever home’ but certainly didn’t expect to begin contemplating its demolition only a year after buying when the stamp duty, legal fees and installation of a boiler with a 7 year guarantee (the irony, the guarantee may outlast the building it is installed in!) are still being paid off. Is it unreasonable that I expected to be able to rent or sell it when we wanted, making a choice between the two that was right for me at the time?. Under regeneration plans I can only realistically sell to Circle and would only be compensated if this was during a ‘build phase’ which could be 8 years hence. Renting out is likely to be complicated for a flat on an estate whose days are numbered and would require forgoing any compensation for the subsequent compulsory purchase of the property. London house price increases and mortgage lending changes over the past few years mean for me and my partner demolition = leaving Ravensbury = leaving London. Having inadvertently given Circle control over the sale of this home forgive me if I do not want to get into shared equity/shared ownership being proposed.
On Wednesday, 30th July 2014, Ravensbury Residents will get their next visit by Circle Housing and their HTA Architects. This time round they call it Design Meeting Number 2, and by the looks of it, they have already decided not to discuss the future of the Orlit Homes, calling it “Refurbishment focus group for Ravensbury Court and Hengelo Gardens residents“. Divide and conquer seems to be their mantra, but will it work?
Printed below is a copy of a post on the Eastfields residents page, this may gain your interest or provide a little hope for the residents of Ravensbury Estate:
>> A COMPLETELY FLATTENED CIRCLE! Circle Housings tissue of lies, regarding consultation with Eastfields residents last year and our support for our own homes being destroyed, lay in tatters following last Wednesdays public meeting at St Marks Academy. In front of our local councillors, our MP, the leader of Merton Council, the Mayor, the heads of Sustainable Communities, Future Merton and the Cabinet Member for Housing, one residents after another tore into Circle Housing. Many of our guests were palpably taken aback by the level of righteous fury erupting from residents. And Circle Housing were forced to publicly acknowledge that the 2013 Consultation was not inadequate. You don’t say! The Council made a commitment to residents that regeneration will not go ahead if the majority do not want it. Residents made it clear that anything other than like-for-like housing/ financial settlements would equate to gentrification and social cleansing and will not be countenanced. A huge thank you to Councillor Geraldine Stanford for arranging the event and well done to many of our tenanted residents who despite often expressing feelings of intimidation at the thought of standing up to CHMP, did so gallantly. Be proud of yourselves. There will be more meetings in the future and more opportunities for our voices to be heard.
It goes to show that by working together and all of us putting in a real effort we can put a stop or a halt to the regeneration scheme and their deceitful plots, We of Ravensbury Estate need to have a proper ballot which will only be taken for residents who are actually facing the prospect and concept of regeneration/demolition I.E not residents/tenants or locals from the Ravensbury Court flats or even hengelo gardens as so far they do not seem to be included or added within the fold in the regeneration/demolition scheme, just refurbishment . It would be unfair to include them in our ballot and we who face possible demolition would be out numbered and out voted and CHMP would use the vote to their own advantage and claim the majority of residents/tenants and locals of the neighborhood are in favor of demolition and regeneration, if in fact we get a proper ballot based only on our vote then i think the vote for refurbishment only for our homes would win the day. So lets get organised and all do our bit and share the load equally this just up to certain members of our community this is up to everybody to take a fair share of the load and we can show CHMP how much we care for our homes and our lovely community if Eastfields can fight them and gain a little hope from it then so can we now please read their blog and lets show CHMP what we are made of.
Here’s a letter about our latest meeting from a resident of Ravensbury:
First off i would like to say a well done to all who showed, appeared and emerged last night at the Ravensbury residents meeting, and who stood up and voiced their displeasure, disapproval, and indignation which means provoked by what is perceived as unfair treatment demonstrated by circle housing and its regeneration team.