Independent resident advisor appointed for south west London regeneration scheme

10 June 2014

Circle Housing Merton Priory has appointed NewmanFrancis as an independent advisor to support residents affected by its regeneration proposals for 1,200 homes across three neighbourhoods in Merton, south west London.

With over 30 years of experience in supporting residents through community consultations, the experienced team of advisors was appointed by a panel that included three local residents. Criteria for selection included experience of working with different groups of residents including older and vulnerable people, tenants and homeowners and track-record of engaging residents in similar proposals. The panel was impressed by the way NewmanFrancis always put residents at the heart and ensured their voices are heard in previous consultations across London.

This month Circle Housing Merton Priory, a not-for-profit housing association, will start consulting residents on possible new designs for Eastfields, High Path and Ravensbury.  Residents will be asked about how they would like their neighbourhoods to be designed if regeneration goes ahead.

NewmanFrancis will be on hand to help and advise residents during the consultation which will run throughout the rest of this year. They will represent residents’ views, address their queries and raise their concerns.  Another important part of the team’s work will be to set up a residents’ panel which will formalise engagement between Circle Housing Merton Priory, residents and community groups.

Cypren Edmunds, a resident of High Path who was on the selection panel, said: “The independent advisor has an important role to play in making sure residents are heard loud and clear. Having been involved in this appointment, I would encourage all residents to take part in the consultation this year and discuss what’s important to us. I know there are lots of opinions in the community and these differ widely depending on whether you are a tenant or a leaseholder. We need to use every opportunity to make our views known.”

Paul Quinn, director of regeneration at Circle Housing Merton Priory, said: “It’s so important to us that all residents have someone independent and experienced to turn to for advice during this sensitive time. As a not-for-profit housing association, we really want to work in partnership with the community and make sure residents are at the heart of our proposals.”  

Mekor Newman, director at NewmanFrancis, said: “We have over 30 years’ experience championing communities and look forward to using our expertise to support all residents of Eastfields, High Path and Ravensbury.  Our role is to provide objective advice to help residents shape the draft plans and make decisions on the options available to them if regeneration does go ahead.”

No final decision about regeneration will be made until Circle Housing Merton Priory has consulted residents and then only after planning permission is granted.  If it goes ahead, regeneration would be an opportunity to deliver neighbourhoods which meet the long term needs of residents.  Circle Housing Merton Priory would seek to create new homes which would help bring an end to over-crowding, meet modern space standards and are energy efficient.  High-quality public spaces, access to local facilities and safe neighbourhoods that build on the strengths of the existing communities will be central to the design.

NewmanFrancis will be in contact with residents in the coming weeks to arrange initial meetings and drop-in sessions. Residents of Eastfields, High Path and Ravensbury who would like to speak to the team should call the free phone number 0800 644 6040 or email mertonregen@newmanfrancis.org.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Judith Hewitt, Circle Housing on 07584 365 674 / judith.hewitt@circle.org.uk