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The Future of Ekin Road

Please fill out our survey:

The journey so far…

2021

In 2021, we wrote to residents to explain that we were undertaking a review into the condition of the Ekin Road estate to understand the issues which are affecting leaseholders and tenants and look at the potential for redevelopment.
Following the meeting of the Council’s Housing Scrutiny Committee (HSC) in September 2021, we wanted to learn about your experiences of living on the estate and get your thoughts on some of the options we are considering.

2022

We held an in-person event in June 2022 where we asked for your feedback. Thanks to those of you who engaged with us by completing a survey or speaking to us in person. Further information from this consultation can be found here:

2023

A long-list of options for the estate were reviewed ranging from a continuation of repairs and cyclical maintenance through to full redevelopment. The Council appointed third party consultants to evaluate these options and the scope of this appointment can be found below.

A shortlist of options was presented at the Council’s Housing Scrutiny Committee in September 2023 and the report can be found below. A final proposal to the Housing Scrutiny Committee is planned for June 2024.

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Next steps
We are committed to engaging with you as the residents of Ekin Road and want to make sure your voices are heard at every step of the way.
To help us achieve this, Liaison Group meetings are being held quarterly to give residents a collective voice and a place to share their opinions.

If you would like to be a part of the Liaison Group, please sign-up here.

*Any information you choose to provide will be processed in accordance with our Privacy Notice which you should read carefully

View our archive documents in the sections below:

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FAQ

The most frequently asked questions about our consultation process

At the HSC in September 2021, it was agreed to consult on options for the future of the estate. No further decisions have been taken.
No decisions have been made at this stage. We don’t know what will happen until we continue to investigate the options. The initial consultation was the start of the process.
The scope of this work is flexible and we don’t currently know how long this will take. We appreciate that this is taking longer than we originally anticipated however this investigation needs to be done thoroughly before a decision on the estate can be made. We will continue to communicate with you in the meantime and letters will be sent to all tenants and homeowners with important information.

The Council reviewed a number of estates with older stock that do not meet modern standards, particularly in relation to sustainability. Ekin Road was identified as a part of this review and the following reports relate to this:

  • B9485 Options Appraisal – produced by Potter Raper
  • Achieving Net Zero Carbon in our Housing Stock – produced by Feilden & Mawson
Refurbishment/retrofitting would include considerable works to the properties to improve the energy efficiency. Some further information can be found in the Potter Raper report on the options available. Extensive work to upgrade heating systems or structural work would be very difficult to undertake with residents living in the home. It is likely that the residents would need to move out whilst the works took place.

We are not yet sure how refurbishment would address other issues like accessibility, security or space standards.
Please find the results of the survey in this report.
Many tenants and homeowners registered their interest in being part of a Steering/Liaison Group. The first meetings took place in December 2022. If you would like to find out more about this group, please get in touch. We are keen to continue to engage with the community throughout this process and will write to the residents with any important events or decisions. We encourage anyone with questions or concerns to contact us directly by emailing ekinroad@cambridge.gov.uk or calling 0800 193 1565.
Essential repairs will continue to be carried out and any planned works will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Visit the Cambridge City Council website to request a repair.
There have been some works undertaken to the flat blocks in recent years including to the structure, the communal flooring, lighting, canopies, roofing and door entry. Leaseholders may have paid up to £13k – this varies slightly, depending on the time they have had their leasehold for and the advice under their Right to Buy purchase.
No. The repairs are essential to maintain the building and therefore essential to maintaining the value of individual flats.
The designs produced so far focus on the provision of new high sustainable homes and particular focus on an improved open space within the site.

The proportion of the new homes that would be Council rented housing has not been decided yet, however we will look to provide a gain to rented homes on the estate.
There are significant costs to refurbishing the three storey flat blocks. This would have to include cladding, structural repairs, adding level access to the flats above ground floor, improving security etc. There is uncertainty that modern standards could be achieved through this. Another option would be partial redevelopment (demolish the 6x three storey blocks only) This would reduce the number of Council homes we could provide on this site. There is no external funding for replacement units.
  • In addition to the constraints detailed above, the benefits of redeveloping the whole estate are:
  • Providing more council homes – this could be over 100 extra homes
  • Providing accessible homes to suit different needs
  • Creating environmentally friendly homes and reducing energy bills
  • Creating more green open spaces for the community
  • Potential access to funding
  • Improving routes through the site
  • Creating better relationships between flats and houses
Council tenants would be required to move from their homes. The options are broadly speaking: Bidding on other properties using Homelink; Moving into one of our other new build properties (we would aim for like for like/similar property, unless resident wishes to downsize);

It is often the case that people do not wish to move twice due to the general stresses of moving – alongside any potential impact on school location, getting to / from work etc. however returning to the completed development is an option.

Residents would receive ‘emergency’ status on Homelink. They would also have a contact for advice and guidance on the bidding process and the financial support available. Regeneration Policy
Yes, although much depends on the timescale for construction of the new development and tenure.
Rents will be higher than existing rents but the rent level has not been set yet.
The Council has not made special provision yet for people to move early. Transfers are currently governed by existing Council policy. This may be reviewed to enable early moves if there are sufficient positive indications for redevelopment.
The financial support for tenants includes payment of disturbance costs up to £1,250, alongside a home loss payment of around £7,800.
Tenants: No, we don’t re-imburse you for work you have done on your home; however you may be entitled to financial support in ensuring your new home meets a similar standard. Leaseholders: Your valuation will reflect the current condition of your home.
The financial support for leaseholders and freeholders includes a compensation payment in addition to the value of the property. This is 10% for resident property owners and 7.5% for non-resident property owners.
Leaseholders have an obligation to offer flats to the Council if they place them on the market. The Council does not have an obligation to buy. The council has re-purchased a small number of flats which were placed on the market by leaseholders. This is subject to available resources. A new decision would be required to offer the option of immediate re-purchase to all leaseholders.
It is likely that tenants of leaseholders are on Assured Shorthold Tenancies and that in the event of redevelopment proceeding leaseholders/landlords will secure vacant possession prior to transfer of the property to the Council. The Council’s approach is to respect the fact that the leaseholder is the tenant’s landlord and to work with the leaseholder to minimise the disruption caused. Private tenants would be able to seek housing advice from the council should their landlord issue a S.21 notice. At this point, the council can discuss the options available based the household, finances etc.
The Council will arrange for a market valuation to be made and you will have 4 weeks to decide if you would like to accept the offer. Once a decision has been taken purchases can proceed subject to normal legal procedures. The Council seeks to work with leaseholders to resolve issues that arise.
The Council will seek as far as possible to resolve situations by agreement. The Council does have powers to compulsorily purchase properties. There are important procedures and safeguards regarding the exercise of this power.
Yes, this falls within the scope of disturbance payments for moving. It does not form part of the 10% or 7.5% compensation payments.
Any additional years on the lease will be reflected in the market value of the property (therefore a refund would not be applicable).
We would have a separate discussion around what would be a suitable location and financial circumstances. There are options available including shared ownership and equity shares – but further discussions would be required on preferences / what is feasible.
Resident leaseholders have the right to return. This is subject to affordability and the range of homes available for sale.
Yes, the same rights apply including the process and the financial aspects.
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The latest reports have been added to the residents resources section

Everyone is welcome to the next Shaping Abbey event being held on 19th June 2024 – details can be found here