Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Whose priorities?

Council housing in Milton Keynes is to undergo a £1bn makeover - half a century since it was established as a new town.

Priority has been given to seven housing estates across the borough deemed in urgent need of repair - and potentially - demolition....

...Milton Keynes was a pioneering housing development when it was was officially designated a town in January 1967.

But many of its early housing estates are now considered tired, run-down and in need of maintenance and structural repair.

Seven council estates have been given priority - Netherfield, Coffee Hall, Tinkers Bridge, North Bradville, Fullers Slade, the Lakes and Beanhill.

A timetable for the regeneration was announced on Wednesday, with the first letters sent out to people living in Fullers Slade.
BBC News, 26th of April 2017

The Fullers Slade estate was put up in something of a hurry in late 1971:
Milton Keynes, was badly suffering from shortage of skilled labour and contractors due to its huge building programme and distances from existing conurbations. There were attempts to design housing by using simplified and if possible use factory built or repetitive elements of construction where possible.

The first housing scheme near Stony Stratford, Galley Hill, was nearing completion and DOE’s granted permission for the same contractor to continue working on Fullers Slade provided the work continued from first site to the second. This imposed a much reduced design period (almost two months) and resulted in a simpler layout and quick decision making.  Long delivery periods for bricks made it necessary to use diagonal cedar boarding as external cladding and a concrete system using a box system of shutters was used  on a standardised 3.60m module for all dwellings.

Iqbal Aalam
Assuming the current plans are on schedule, any long-term residents of these hastily-constructed estates will have been waiting over four and a half decades for their first regeneration. In the same period, Doctor Who has regenerated nine times. I leave you to work out what this says about our society's hierarchy of needs.