Residents of Hounslow's Convent Way have provided an overwhelming endorsement of Council proposals for regeneration of the estate.
Published: Tuesday, 29th June 2021
With an overall ballot turnout of 85%, 80% of eligible residents have voted in favour of the Council’s regeneration plans.
The plans provide new, modern, energy-efficient homes, with new shops and a community centre, new parks and a revitalisation of the existing sports and open spaces which will significantly improve the environment for everyone.
The ballot at Convent Way follows 18 months of intense engagement and consultation with over 400 residents on the estate. Working within the constraints of COVID-19 restrictions, the Council's Estate Regeneration team reached out to each and every resident and household on the estate to provide opportunities to engage meaningfully with, and inform, the development of the regeneration proposals.
The Council’s January 2020 Cabinet meeting agreed the preparation of a programme for regenerating the Council’s housing estates which included proposals for the comprehensive regeneration of Convent Way with arrangements for engagement with tenants and leaseholders, and a ballot.
The proposal came from an overall assessment and better understanding of the performance of housing estates which showed that as buildings on the estate were ageing, the growing need to repair more regularly was becoming more costly. Convent Way, built in 1960, was identified as no longer suited to modern living, difficult to maintain and difficult to adapt to meet residents’ housing and accessibility needs.
The proposals endorsed by the ballot aim to improve housing quality, with an improved estate management approach. That will improve quality of life for residents through:
- enabling residents to play an active role in how their neighbourhood is shaped, designed and managed,
- providing new modern community and retail spaces – including high-quality community amenities and shops as well as greater and better use of green spaces and underused play areas across the estate
- opportunities for improved housing conditions for those in unsuitable accommodation – for example, where households need home adaptations or to tackle overcrowding
The plans form part of Hounslow Council's major programme to regenerate its estates and deliver 5000 affordable homes in the borough by 2022. The programme is expected to deliver approximately 900 high-quality, energy efficient, new council homes for residents, who will continue to play a leading role in shaping the proposals. The overall programme is guided by comprehensive assessments of the council’s 171 estates, designed to identify those that will need to be updated over the next 20 years. The programme's aspiration is to provide 50% homes at council rent levels, subject to viability. All secure tenants and resident leaseholders will have the right to return.
Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council said:
“Once again we can be very proud of, and pleased with, an overwhelming ‘yes’ to our regeneration plans. We have seen in other boroughs that sometimes proposals struggle to gain the support of residents. It is a credit to the quality of ours, and the work of the councillors and staff involved in the work and the consultation that we continue to see this level of positivity from our residents, and this scale of support for the improvements.
“We have set out our commitment to building new council homes, and the proposed 900 homes in this scheme take us another step forward to meeting that commitment and the needs of local people. I am excited about this new opportunity to deliver with, and for, the residents and tenants”.
Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Lily Bath, added,
"Residents clearly recognised the need to replace the existing homes with modern fit for purpose homes, and to address overcrowding. But they also confirmed their sense of belonging to Convent Way and as the place they want to continue living and build a stronger community.
"This is another fantastic result for the residents and the borough. We set out on our estate regeneration journey last year, and although COVID has made everything more challenging, we have raised our game on consultation and engagement with tenants and residents. These results show once again how well we have worked in partnership with our residents.”