The updated news is part of a report to the council’s cabinet today (Tuesday 28th March 2017), which provides a detailed update on the work that has taken place since the last report in September 2016.
It makes a number of recommendations, and seeks approval to start the procurement process. The report focuses on agreeing the council’s expectations and ambitions for the project.
If agreed, these expectations will be set out clearly in procurement documents, ensure that they are delivered through a partnership with the private sector, and ensure that the rights and views of residents are considered and respected. Some of these expectations include:
- That a minimum of 441 affordable homes are included in the scheme
- That assured tenancies, containing the same terms and conditions as current secure tenancies will be offered to returning current council tenants
- That returning council tenants retain the ‘right to buy’ clause
- That a preference for 1:1 residential parking is included
- That the principle of a community fund is included to maximise the development and integration of the community
A preferred transport option has also been completed which will allow new traffic movements in and out of Short Street, a reconfigured Southchurch Road and widened Chichester Road and a realigned one-way link between Southchurch Road and Sutton Road.
Cabinet will also consider a Borough wide decant policy that will apply to the Better Queensway project, but also any other major regeneration projects in the future. The decant policy sets out the home loss and disturbance payments that residents will be eligible for. A local lettings policy has also been developed and will be considered at the same cabinet meeting. This will allow people who want to move away from the Queensway estate the right to apply to be on the housing register if they are not already, and give additional priority to those already on the list to help them move.
Cllr Ann Holland, Deputy Leader of the Council, says: “I am pleased that this project is progressing so well. It is the biggest and most ambitious and transformational regeneration project that the council has undertaken in recent memory and it vital that we follow due process and get this detailed work done before starting the procurement process.
“We are clear that residents will be offered new tenancies on the same terms and conditions as their current tenancies and will be offered assistance to move if they do not want to be part of the regenerated estate through a newly created local letting policy. A borough wide decant policy is also being discussed that will ensure the rights of residents are respected.
“The report also clearly sets out what we want from the project and what we expect from any partner, to ensure that we deliver our aims and ambitions for the current residents of the Queensway estate, the council, and the Borough as a whole.”