A bit about the history of Kings Crescent
History of Regeneration at Kings Crescent
The regeneration of the Kings Crescent estate began over 20 years ago with the demolition of two 1960s tower blocks. The first replacement new build blocks completed at Barkway Court in 2002 by Circle 33 Housing. The demolition of Codicott Terrace, Westmill Court and parts of Kelshall Court , Lemsford Court and Weston Court followed as tenants were able to be rehoused within the estate and elsewhere depending on personal choice. Between 2004 and 2009 there were several attempts to restart the rebuilding process with developer partners but none of them met the Council’s and residents’ aspirations for the community. From 2009 onwards, the Council decided to do housing regeneration themselves as this gave better control over the quality and type of new homes.
Following extensive consultation, a Master Plan was agreed in 2012 and planning permission was granted in 2013. Higgins Construction were appointed to refurbish the retained blocks and build 273 new homes and work on site on the Northside of the estate began in 2015 and was completed in 2017.
The final stage of the regeneration is the Southside of the estate which is now at is at the consultation stage and it is hoped that a start on site will be achieved by the end of 2019. Residents have waited a long time for the transformation of the estate and we hope that the community will continue to engage in proposals.
Kings Crescent Estate has a proud history of resident involvement having previously had a very strong and active tenants and residents association with a full programme of social, youth and community activities. The Garden Club and the Vince Murrain Community Centre are just a small part of what they achieved. The tenants and residents association was proactive in seeking solutions from the Council to the problems of the estate when buildings were beyond economic repair. They also set up a tenant management organisation to improve services to the estate but decided that their energies were best targeted in getting the regeneration under way.
A Regeneration Steering Group was established to oversee the Master Planning and developer selection and has influenced:
- How many and what type of homes were to be built
- The rehousing opportunities for the community
- Capping of leaseholder recharges
- Community initiatives
- Provision of community and commercial space
- Local employment opportunities
The Regeneration Steering Group will continue until the last home is occupied in the Southside regeneration. They will support the final planning application and be actively involved in selecting the developer for the next stage.
About a year ago a Supported Residents Group was formed to bring together the old community and welcome newcomers to the estate. The group also raises problems with the housing service with relevant officers of the Council So far they have:
- Raised problems of anti-social behaviour with the Council and Police
- Participated in estate walkabouts to look at cleaning and repairs issues
- Held a big lunch event
- Participated in planning two large community events
- Organised a coach trip to Broadstairs
It is hoped that this group will eventually become a tenants and residents association and be active in developing a full programme of social, youth and community activities.
(Kindly written for the Website by Carol Squires from Source Partnership)