A September update for residents in College Bank

Thank you to everyone who came along to our update event for residents on 11th September 2023.

  • We have signed an exclusivity agreement with Legal and General Affordable Homes (LGAH). This means that between now and December 2023 we’ll be focusing on this one plan which we hope will enable us to confirm the future of the homes at College Bank.
  • We now have a clear plan which, if approved, would avoid the demolition of any of the blocks. The proposal would be to refurbish all seven blocks over a period of five years.
  • We have been meeting with Rochdale Borough Council, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and the Department for Levelling Up, Homes, and Communities (DLUHC) to try to bridge the funding gap. Progress has been made and talks are continuing.
  • If the plan is approved, Legal and General Affordable Homes (LGAH) would become the owner and landlord of the blocks. Your tenancy and leasehold agreements would be with LGAH. RBH would continue to manage the blocks. Tenancy conditions for existing tenants would remain unchanged.
  • We would propose changes to the RBH Rules to enable existing and future tenants of College Bank to continue to be tenant members of RBH.
  • If temporary moves are required during refurbishment, we would look to use homes within College Bank.
  • We hope to make a final decision before the end of 2023, and we will hold a further event for residents once we have more information to share.

We would like tenants and leaseholders to be involved as we develop these plans. If you would like to volunteer, please email us on towncentre.regen@rbh.org.uk, call Freephone 0800 027 7769, or speak to us at a consultation event.

Download documents

Information from the June update

  • What is the current position?

    In May we wrote to all residents at College Bank to let them know that the regeneration plans were on hold while we carried out a review.

    We have been working in partnership with Legal & General Affordable Homes to explore alternative options for the blocks.

    One of the options we are looking at is to retain all seven blocks, which would be modernised and refurbished to provide high quality energy efficient homes. We want to share some information about this potential option with residents.

  • Why the change in plans?

    We wanted to explore if there was an opportunity to retain all seven blocks to provide a sustainable College Bank for the future.

    We have made a commitment to invest more money into our existing homes and improve their quality for our existing tenants.

    By working together with Legal & General Affordable Homes, we may be able to deliver a viable proposal that allows us to retain all seven blocks.

  • Who are Legal & General Affordable Homes and why are we working with them?

    Legal & General Affordable Homes is a Registered Housing Provider. They are regulated by the Regulator for Social Housing - the same as RBH is.

    They are committed to providing good quality, affordable and energy efficient homes for
    the future.

    We can’t access all the funding required to bring the blocks up to the required standard alone. Legal & General Affordable Homes will bring in funding and expertise to help with modernisation.

    Together we are also looking at other potential sources of funding.

  • What work might be carried out to the blocks?

    We are aware from our own surveys and resident feedback that a complete refurbishment is required both internally and externally. Any plans would be based on works being carried out to all seven blocks in a phased way. Depending on the scale and type of work that is necessary, some residents may need to move home whilst work is being carried out.

    Works would include:

    • New windows
    • Upgraded external treatment of the blocks to meet both issues of water penetration and fire safety
    • A new energy-efficient heating system that should produce both savings to residents and be good for the long term sustainability of the wider community
    • Lift improvements
    • New kitchens and bathrooms
  • What do the proposals mean for existing residents?

    What we do know currently is that if the proposals go ahead:

    • The owner of the blocks would be Legal & General Affordable Homes - they would be the landlord
    • RBH would manage and maintain the blocks on behalf of Legal & General Affordable Homes
    • All existing RBH tenants would retain the same tenancy conditions - including rent
    • All leaseholders would have the same lease, but with Legal & General Affordable Homes being the freeholder

    We don’t have all the details yet - this will be established over the coming months. We will keep the community updated as we have more information.

  • Next Steps

    We will continue to work together with Legal & General Affordable Homes as well as other local partners to develop the detail and see if the option to retain all seven blocks is viable.

    We expect the work involved will take at least a year before we could start on site. This will include further work on what modernisation and refurbishment works could look like.

    We will keep the community updated over the coming months and let residents know further information as we have it.

    We will hold another community event as soon as we have further information to share.