The project has significantly improved the residential environment of Grove Village. Residents are happy with the outcome and their involvement with the process.
Design quality was improved by the project
The masterplan successfully met many of the design problems of the Radburn layout. The Green Route, increased permeability and insertion of larger corner blocks has improved the character of the whole estate. The creation of new street frontages, reversal of houses to face the street and transformation of unmaintained common space into private rear gardens were particularly well executed.
Using the same materials on both new and refurbished properties has unified the estate. Private owners were given financial assistance to allow them to reclad their homes to match surrounding styles.
External works have led to some problems. Streets consist largely of hard surfaces with significant areas of tarmac, and commuters have used estate roads as short cuts. Bollards have since been added to manage this.
Tenants were convinced by pro-active engagement
Grove Village Consortium faced a challenging relationship with tenants due to affordability requirements, compulsory purchase orders and road closures. The registered social landlord addressed these issues through an action plan which included:
- campaigns to challenge perceptions of crime and litter
- intensive management by estate officers and via the estate warden scheme
- a one-stop shop with access to models and plans for all residents
- monthly meetings with the tenants’ association and council members
- drop-in events and home visits, with interpreters present where necessary
- school visits.
The estate is now a place of choice
The refurbishment was completed in spring 2007 and the first new, built for sale houses were sold within a few days of going on the market. A failing estate of 1,090 dwellings with over 20% voids now has a more varied housing offer and a six-year waiting list for homes.
A tenant satisfaction survey completed immediately after the refurbishment showed that 75 per cent of tenants felt that their rent represented good value for money and that management of their home had improved over the last two years. In 2008, 84% of respondents reported being happy with the neighbourhood as a place to live, a rise of over 20% in four years.