Cleator Moor FAQs

We've collected frequently asked questions from customers about the regeneration of Cleator Moor.

Questions and answers regarding regeneration:

Why is regeneration being considered?

We’re at the early stage of consulting with you and are not considering full demolition of the entire estate. We’d like to identify the options available to improve and redevelop the estate. Refurbishment is one of the options we’re able to look into and there are two main reasons for this:-

  1. Due to the investment required to maintain existing homes (some are beyond their original design life and are becoming very expensive to maintain)
  2. The needs of the community are different to the homes available (for example there are currently no bungalows and many homes are under-occupied or overcrowded)

We’re keen to involve our customers and home owners to understand how you feel about the estate. Some of the issues are long term problems with a number of the rented properties that cannot be solely addressed through maintenance. These include dated design and properties which are expensive to heat.

Overall our aim is to provide housing which better suits the needs of you, your family and the wider community.

Why did Home Group issue a demolition notice?

We got it wrong and for this we sincerely apologise. We have withdrawn the notice.

When we think estate regeneration might be an option, we need to temporarily suspend Right to Buy.

If we want to suspend Right to Buy, the legal approach is to formally issue a demolition notice. However, a blanket demolition notice was inappropriate, considering we are only just starting to consider what might need to be done. We sincerely apologise for the distress this has caused. The demolition notices have now been withdrawn and Right to Buy is reinstated.

Demolition notices will only be served in the future through proper community consultation.

Isn’t demolition of the entire estate a waste of money? Surely the current homes can be refurbished and the estate repaired without demolishing it?

We’re at the early stage of consulting with you and are not considering full demolition of the entire estate. We’d like to identify the options available to improve and redevelop the estate. Refurbishment is one of the options we’re able to look into.

UPDATE – We are not considering full demolition of the entire estate.  We have been working with the community since January 2018 to identify the best options to improve and redevelop the estate and to address the most common problems residents have with their current home.  Refurbishment is one of the options that we are looking into from the feedback we have received from our engagement with the community.

How can Home Group build new homes if you are not going to demolish?

If the community decision is against demolition then we will focus on building on land at Wath Brow. If you decide selective demolition is the right approach, we’ll have more scope for new homes which meet the needs of the community.

What’s wrong with the current properties and the estate?

We know that there are a number of challenges with housing on Cleator Moor:

  • In Cleator Moor, we know 25 properties became void last year which means they were left without anyone living in them and we have around 16 that are difficult to let. This means we may have too many houses or the wrong size or type. We know when there are a lot of empty properties on an estate it can lead to vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
  • We know that some of the homes have structural problems, mainly because of the way they were constructed.
  • We know homes are poorly insulated and ventilated making them expensive to heat and this can cause condensation issues and dampness.
  • We know we don’t have the housing mix needed for the community – for example there are too many three bedroom homes which aren’t meeting current need.
  • There are lots of properties close together in some areas, creating problems with parking.
  • There are poorly designed public spaces from outdated design and poor links through to the wider area.

The properties have become difficult to maintain and we would need to spend £9.6 million on planned maintenance over the next 30 years to maintain the properties.

What are the aims of the proposed regeneration?

We’re early on in the information gathering process so there is no defined plan for regeneration at this stage. We’re keen to discuss the issues around overcrowding and under-occupation, provide better links and access around the estates and improve the outlook to open space should residents feel this is required.

UPDATE – We are over 12 months into our engagement with the community and we have had lots of great feedback from residents on what they feel is needed to improve the estates.  One of the most popular suggestions was to build new homes on the cleared land on Keir Hardie Avenue – These plans have been developed, a public exhibition was held for the community in January 2019 and we received planning permission in August 2019.

 

 

An estate wide plan for the remainder of the estate is currently being drawn up based on the feedback we have received from the community and we are aiming to present this plan to residents in the coming months.

Properties were promised to be built on Keir Hardie Avenue where demolition occurred several years ago. Why has this not happened?

Low demand for housing in Cleator Moor at the time along with limited grant funding available meant the land at Keir Hardie Avenue has not been developed. However, we are keen to include this area in any regeneration plans and we want to know your views on this area.

UPDATE – We will be building 20 new homes on this land.  A public exhibition was held in January 2019 to present the proposals to the community.  We submitted a planning application to Copeland Borough Council in March 2019 and received planning permission in August 2019.  We aim to start on site in early 2020.

Why have we not seen any plans or designs of the proposed regeneration?

There are no plans or designs in place and we have not worked up any proposals. Home Group recently completed a 100% stock survey which means we looked at the condition of all our properties across the country and Cleator Moor has been highlighted as an area which would benefit from regeneration.

Our first information session with residents in January 2018 was to seek information from all residents about the estate with a number of information sessions and consultations planned over the coming months to help us gain valuable feedback from you.

UPDATE – Since January 2018 we have held 8 information gathering sessions, 3 design workshops and 1 public exhibition.  From all of the feedback we have received, we were able to put a plan together. The first was to build new homes on the cleared land at Keir Hardie Avenue as we had an overwhelming number of residents advising us that this was a good option. Our second plan, which we are currently working on is to put together an estate wide plan for the remaining parts of the estate which incorporates all of the suggestions / ideas given to us by the community at our engagement sessions.  We hope to be able to present this to you in the coming months.

Does this mean the regeneration proposal may not go ahead?

Yes. If the majority of residents are against the proposal, we will look at other ways of maintaining the current properties and estate. But we’d like a full discussion with the local community on how we address the issues such as the condition of the existing properties, overcrowding and under-occupation before we reach any decisions.

UPDATE – As we have been consulting with the community for over 12 months, regeneration / refurbishment will go ahead in some form as per all our communications to date.

If the regeneration goes ahead what is the timeframe up until the redevelopment begins?

As we’re in the early stages of meeting with residents there is no timeframe in place. We want to involve you and provide information as part of our engagement and consultation process. The timeframe will depend on the outcome of the information sessions and consultations.

UPDATE – As and when plans develop we will write to advise you.

Questions and answers for Home Group customers:

If the regeneration was to go ahead, what will Home Group customers gain from this?

It’s difficult to be specific at this early stage but in other areas benefits have included:

  • New, modern homes
  • Access to home ownership through outright sales, shared ownership or other options
  • Lower running costs through energy-efficient design
  • More useable green spaces and open spaces
  • Improved estate layout and design
  • Improved community facilities
  • Better access routes across the estate where required
  • An opportunity to move to a Home Group property or from another housing provider (where possible) that is suitable for household need
  • Customers who wish to move away and have high medical or mobility needs will be assessed to ensure any aids and adaptations required will be installed in their new property away from Cleator Moor

If I’m provided a new home on the estate through the regeneration, or move to another area, will my existing tenancy be protected?

Yes. All current tenancy agreements will not be revoked or changed and will continue as currently agreed for any affected customers should there be refurbishment or regeneration.

Will my rent stay the same if I was provided a new home through the regeneration or move to another area?

If you move to a new home on the estate you will pay the same rent as you’re currently paying, assuming it has the same number of bedrooms. If you move to a home with more or fewer bedrooms, this will affect the rent you pay.

If I’m provided a new home on the estate through the regeneration, or move to another area, will my property be like for like?

If the regeneration plans involve you moving, we’ll hold one-to-one meetings to discuss the needs of you and your household and your preference of property type (for example, if you are looking to downsize and/or move to a bungalow) to ensure you’re provided with a suitable property that meets your requirements.

How will Home Group’s rented homes be allocated?

We will develop a standard approach for all customers which will set out the way we’ll support you if you need to move either temporarily while works are underway or permanently. This is called a Decant Charter and we will develop this specifically to meet the needs of the community once we know which regeneration or refurbishment options you’ve decided, if any. We’ll also explain our allocation policy in detail so you feel clear and informed about how this process will work.

I am interested in moving away sooner rather than later. At what point can this happen?

If you wish to move away please let us know and we will arrange a meeting with you to understand your needs. We’ll also work closely with Copeland Borough Council to help find a suitable property.

However, we would like to reassure you that no customer will be encouraged or forced to move if they do not want to.

If I have to move because of regeneration, will I be given money to help me with my move?

 

 

Yes. We will pay each household the statutory home loss payment.  This is a sum governed by the Land Compensation Act 1973, and the amount payable is fixed by statute.  The payments are intended to compensate an occupier for the loss of their home due to the actions by the landlord.  Since October 2018, the amount payable is £6300 per household. (less any rent arrears)

All customers who move will also receive a reimbursement payment (called a disturbance payment), which relates to the reasonable costs of moving, which includes:

• Redirection of mail

 

 

• Telephone reconnection

 

 

• Sky/cable reconnection

In addition to this Home Group will plan and organise your move with an approved removal firm and where required packing boxes / tape will be provided.

If work is to be carried out to my current property due to disrepair (refurbishment works), am I able to return to my property after the works have been completed?

Yes. If you need to temporarily move out of your current home due to refurbishment works, you will have the right to return to your original home.

I have spent money on my home over the past few years. Will I be compensated for the works if I decide to move away?

In addition to getting a home which will as a minimum, match the quality of the current home, all Home Group customers will be compensated to the amount of £6,300 (less any arrears owed) as part of the redevelopment programme.

Can customers have it in writing that if they do not want to move they do not have to?

Yes we can confirm in writing if customers do not want to move they don’t have to. Please let us know if you require this.

Questions and answers for home owners

If the regeneration was to go ahead, what will home owners gain from this?

  • The regeneration will contribute to improving current property values in the area
  • More useable green spaces and public open spaces
  • Improved estate layout, clearer accessibility and better community facilities
  • Better access routes across the estate where required

Could I purchase a new home on the estate through the regeneration?

Yes, we’re really keen to promote home ownership in our estates to retain families on the estate who want to purchase and stay, rather than move away.

If I decide to sell my home to Home Group at a later date, will this still be possible?

As we are still developing our proposals we are not in a position to commit to purchasing any homes at present.

Can home owners have it in writing that their properties will not be subject to compulsory purchase?

Please get in touch with us if you require this in writing.

Questions and answers around future information sessions and consultations:

Will Home Group endeavour to act in an improved and decent manner towards its customers in the Cleator Moor area regarding any future correspondences of importance?

Yes. We sincerely apologise for our recent communications and we will communicate and work with all residents in a more inclusive way going forward.

What will happen after the first information sessions in January 2018?

The feedback, views and information will be reviewed and collated from the sessions from everyone who attended, and will be sent out by post to all residents by the end of February 2018, along with information about our next steps for further engagement and consultation with you.

Will my views/comments be taken into consideration?

Yes. We appreciate feedback from all residents and we are keen to involve everyone. This is why we’ve arranged a number of information sessions as we want to ensure you have the opportunity to be involved from the beginning.

This is the first step in us providing information and we’re committed to involving and engaging with all residents as well as working with local stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcomes for all.

How involved will Home Group be with residents at Cleator Moor?

We are keen to be involved with all residents. As we are at the early stages of meeting with residents, we want deliver a range of information sessions, drop-ins, consultations and presentations over time to ensure all residents are provided with information and have the opportunity to be involved should you wish to.

Where residents would like a one-to-one meeting with a Home Group colleague, you are able to do so.

Will there be more consultations and sessions organised by Home Group and how will I be notified about them?

Yes. We will be holding information and consultation sessions along with one-to-one meetings for our customers and home owners over the coming months. We are also creating a dedicated website for Cleator Moor which we will use to update all customers. All information will be issued by letter and on our website. If you’d prefer to be notified by email, please let us know.

Who can I contact if I have any questions or concerns?

We have a dedicated point of contact should you have any questions or concerns from here on. Please contact Shelley Courty, Regeneration Officer on the details below. If you’re unable to get through to Shelley, please leave her a message and she will return your call or email as soon as she is available.

  • M: 07393 233739
  • T: 0191 607 9961
  • E: shelley.courty@homegroup.org.uk
  • Customer Service Centre: 0345 141 4663

Questions handed in to Brian Ham, Home Group's Executive Director of Development, at the Town Council open meeting on 9th January 2018:

As previously stated, no homes will be demolished?

Homes will only be demolished if the local community decide that some demolition is beneficial, because new homes can be built. Furthermore individual homes will only be demolished if the tenant wants to move.

Regeneration would only be refurbishment and upgrading of the affected homes and any landscape work required?

There is no defined plan for regeneration or refurbishment at this stage. We are keen to discuss the issues around overcrowding and under-occupation, the opportunity for providing better links and access around the estates and improvement of the outlook to open space should residents feel this is required.

Once we’ve engaged and consulted with residents in and around Wath Brow and Priory Drive areas, only then will we confirm any plans for the future of the area.

If tenants were requested to transfer out of their homes due to proposed regeneration, they would have the right to return to their original home on completion of any work undertaken, guaranteed?

Yes. If you needed to transfer out of your homes due to refurbishment works depending on the type of works to their current property, you would have the right to return to your original home on completion of any work undertaken.

All current tenancy agreements would not be revoked or changed and will continue as currently agreed for any affected tenants during refurbishment or regeneration, guaranteed?

Yes. All current tenancy agreements will not be revoked or changed and will continue as currently agreed for anyone should there be regeneration or refurbishment.

No tenant would be encouraged or forced to transfer without their explicit agreement, to any private landlord or private housing company, guaranteed?

That’s correct. Nobody will be encouraged or forced to transfer without their explicit agreement, to any private landlord or private housing company.

As there will be no compulsory purchase orders or demolition on any pre-Home Group properties which are now private dwellings, the reinstatement of the right to buy scheme should apply. This would give a semblance of fair treatment to all tenants, in respect of those who have acquired a home under a scheme and also current tenants who may wish to do so, guaranteed?

We are at the very early stage of consultation and we can confirm that we have now reinstated Right To Buy, so anybody who has the right to buy can still exercise this right.

Will demolition notices only be served in the future through proper community consultation?

Yes, demolition notices will only be served in the future through proper community consultation and we are at the first stage of consultation with all residents in the Wath Brow and Priory Drive areas.

Finally, as a sign of civility and inclusiveness in housing matters, will Home Group endeavour to act in an improved and decent manner towards its tenants in the Cleator Moor area regarding any future correspondences of importance?

Yes, we are committed to working closely with you going forward in an improved and decent manner.