Letter: College Bank and Lower Falinge regeneration proposals
Date published: 04 October 2017
College Bank Flats
A few points regarding the College Bank and Lower Falinge regeneration proposals.
Firstly, there has been little or no attention given to the absolutely crucial political and social context in which these proposals are being made.
The government's estate regeneration strategy is absolutely explicit when it states the following:
"Historically, estate regeneration schemes have almost always relied upon government grant funding. A major ambition of the new approach to estate regeneration is to explore and promote innovative methods of financing estate regeneration that encourages greater private investment and reduces reliance on the public purse."
It could not be more plain that this strategy will lead to a massive reduction to the number of homes for social rent. It is therefore disingenuous of RBH to state that there will be a guarantee of housing for all that want to stay. They carefully avoid stating whether or not their offer will be affordable or even suitable, just that they will guarantee an offer.
Bearing this in mind, the drive to demolish and reconstruct rather than a more sensible and humane approach of demolition and reconstruction where needed, and refurbishment when not, is not, and was never going to be considered because this process is being driven by government strategy.
This is also part of the council core strategy locality plan. Most of these properties will be built with an eye to increased council tax intake, in a vain attempt to compensate for the ruinous cuts in local government finances imposed by the government.
It is clear to me that these issues are the crucial ones, but that they are being avoided. I also believe that this should be the main emphasis of any campaign against these proposals as they are presently constituted.
The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.