RBH guarantees town centre homes for residents at College Bank and Lower Falinge if flats are demolished
Date published: 22 September 2017
College Bank Flats
All residents who want to stay in the town centre will be able to do so if controversial plans to demolish parts of College Bank and Lower Falinge go ahead, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) has confirmed.
The guarantee will form part of a ‘Residents’ Deal’ and follows hundreds of home visits, which have been carried out by 80 RBH employees over the summer. Members of the RBH team have been visiting tenants and residents at College Bank and Lower Falinge to talk to them about the proposals for their neighbourhoods, including how they may be affected and next steps as well as to answer any questions.
There has been strong opposition since Rochdale Online first revealed that four of the 'Seven Sisters' tower blocks at College Bank could be demolished under proposals put forward by Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH).
Former Mayor of Rochdale, Mr Parker launched petitions (on and off-line) to ‘Save the Seven Sisters’:
When launcing the petitions, he said: “It would be impossible to build anything of the high standards we have now. On Lower Falinge, their concern is the new buildings would have to be as good as they have now.
“It is our hope that the Council will support us in opposing Rochdale Boroughwide Housing’s savage proposals, which include demolition of four blocks and will require every resident of the seven blocks to move out. It is our opinion that all seven blocks could be improved, maintained and well-managed for the benefit of residents.”
Clare Tostevin, Director of Communities at RBH, said: “So far, we have spoken with around 300 tenants and residents in their homes. Many people have really welcomed the opportunity to speak with us one-to-one and face-to-face about the proposed investments.
"From these conversations, we have been able to gather more information on people’s potential housing needs and priorities should they have to move. This means that we can now guarantee that if people in College Bank and Lower Falinge need to be rehoused, they can choose to remain in the town centre and be close to family, friends, work, schools, and support networks.
"This commitment will form part of the Residents’ Deal, which we are seeking to develop in partnership with the local community. This will set out a wide range of commitments and opportunities for all tenants and leaseholders as well as how people can participate in the regeneration process and in the ongoing management of the neighbourhoods.
"Our next step is to continue with the home visits. We haven’t been able to catch everyone at home to speak to them, so we will be contacting people by telephone or email to arrange a convenient time to speak to them or to go through the information over the telephone. As part of this we are making clear that there would be dedicated support from RBH for anyone who needs to move which would help them through every step.
"Once we have gathered all of this feedback, we will be using it to help further shape the proposals. We will be keeping tenants and residents updated throughout this process, including through our new website, which we hope will make it easier and clearer for local people to find out about the latest developments.”