Here is a letter from a resident of Ravensbury.
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.
Vicki – Ravensbury Grove