SEP 2011 - Exploring new horizons with residents
Today is the launch of a community consultation giving local residents the chance to help shape the future of their neighbourhood. The consultation focuses on the out-dated blocks of flats and maisonettes in Freemantle, Taverner and Westray Close, Oakridge. Today marks the start of a public consultation, as we get together with local residents and the wider community to explore options - including a complete regeneration of the area - to provide more family houses.
Chief Executive Martin Nurse said: “We’ll be talking to local residents to find out what they like and what they want from their homes and neighbourhood. We shall work closely with them, the councillors and the council to improve the area within Freemantle, Taverner and Westray, providing an enhanced quality of life for the local community. Our past experience shows that involving local people before any decisions are made helps to deliver great homes and a neighbourhood we can all be proud of.”
At the heart of this consultation are the three residential blocks of maisonettes and flats in Freemantle, Taverner and Westray Close. The age and condition of the blocks has deteriorated over the years and although the homes are structurally sound, they do not meet current standards in terms of heat loss, electrical and mechanical services.
The age and design of the neighbourhood also creates under-used open spaces and residents report higher incidences of anti-social behaviour compared to other Sentinel neighbourhoods.
“We are using an approach called “planning for real”, adds Mr Nurse, “This means that local people are involved at every stage and can tell us what they would like to see in their neighbourhood, we can then work together to design plans for local improvements which could include new homes, play areas and open spaces.”
Sentinel invites residents and community groups to a series of community consultation events starting on Monday 19 September. There will be four drop in events at:
- Oakridge Methodist Church – Monday 19 September 5–8pm
- Oakridge Hall for All – Tuesday 20 September 12–3pm
- Oakridge Hall for All - Wednesday 21 September 12–3pm
- Oakridge Hall for All – Saturday 24 September 9am–12 noon
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Cabinet Member for Housing, Health and Culture Cllr Cathy Osselton said: “We welcome Sentinel’s initiative in an area that the council has already identified as a priority for regeneration. I look forward to hearing the community’s views and then considering the best way that the council can help in the transformation of this part of the town.”
For more information about the consultation visit our dedicated webpages www.sentinelha.org.uk/newhorizons