Dee Park Estate Regeneration Survey results
13th September 2008
Residents raise concerns about traffic & parking, housing for the elderly and local amenities - Sharma asks for financial viability of regeneration project to be scrutinised.
Alok Sharma, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Reading West and fellow Conservatives circulated a questionnaire to local households seeking their views on the regeneration plans for the Dee Park Estate. Alok has now written to Reading Borough Council with the results as part of the Dee Park Regeneration consultation process.
Forty responses were received from local people and the key findings were as follows:
- 75% of the respondents had attended one or more of the public consultations run in the past;
- 63% however did not feel that their questions were adequately answered.
In respect of accommodation for the elderly, the potential loss of green spaces and demolition of garages the responses were as follows:
- 80% would prefer to retain more of the current green spaces;
- 87% do not believe it would be appropriate to accommodate elderly residents who do not need sheltered housing in flats alongside those with young families;
- 83% would like to retain their garages rather than see them demolished.
Residents were also invited to make any comments on the regeneration plans and these are set out below.
Written comments submitted by residents on traffic and parking:
“Estate will no longer be free from vehicles, cars will be parked everywhere. How can this make for a better environment”
“Don't agree with main road going around school and also home zone roads going through linking Dee Road to Norcot Road ”
“Danger for children having a road through, and we need to know that they are going to be safe”
“Despite more than 90% of residents being against a through road it is still in the plans”
“Dulnan Close being overdeveloped with flats, also not enough parking!”
“Vandals have destroyed cars, broken windows, slashed tyres. Go to meetings to try and explain this and are told we should only have 1 car. We pay for 2 garages to keep the cars safe”“My garage is privately owned and I am not prepared to sell it”
“Want to know if it is true they will reduce parking to 1 space per household”
“Families on estate have always liked that children can play safely with no thought of vehicles coming through”
Written comments submitted by residents on housing for the elderly:
“Still don’t know what type of accommodation will get, want a bungalow & garden like now, only 60 years old yet was offered sheltered housing”
“Not against regeneration, needs assurances will be placed in same kind of housing as currently in (small terraced bungalow)”
“Want to be told what kind of accommodation will be allocated, not prepared to live in block of flats”
Written comments submitted by residents on required amenities & other issues:
“Doctor’s Surgery is needed”“Lived here since 1968, all shops & services are on South Side of the estate, elderly on North Side have a long steep walk to get to bus stops”
“We need more done for the disabled”
“Homes for sale affordable to whom?”
“Look at drains in Stour & Test Close areas, water coming off into our gardens”
“Residents should be consulted where new housing is going to be built in front of their property”
“Feel comments will make no difference, they will do whatever they want anyway”
Alok Sharma wrote in his letter to the Council: “There is little doubt that the Dee Road Estate does need regeneration and this objective has the clear support of many residents. However as part of any regeneration plan I hope it will be possible to take into account and accommodate the views of any many of the residents as possible. As you will note from the above comments there are some strong views on the Estate in respect of through traffic and parking, accommodation for the elderly and general amenities.”
Alok also raised a key issue with regard to the financial viability of the whole regeneration project, he wrote: “I would like to raise one other very important issue in this letter and that is in respect of the business plan which underpins the commercial viability of the whole regeneration project. My understanding is that the current business plan assumes a proportion of the new housing will be sold to private individuals and this will help fund the project as well as provide a profit for any developer. Given the current and continuing slump in house prices and housing transactions I hope the continuing commercial viability of any business plan will be scrutinised in detail. It would be a great shame for all involved, especially the residents on the Estate, if the regeneration project commences and then has to be halted part way through due to a lack of continued financing.”