Kingsway Hits The Headlines… Again

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

PLANS to increase levels of social housing on the Kingsway estate in Gloucester have angered nearby residents.

The site was originally planned to contain social housing making up 30% of the total number of properties.

However, a revised planning application for part of the estate has seen that level rise to 42%, with 20 out of 67 new homes set aside for social housing.

The plans, for land near Thatcham Avenue, have provoked an angry response from nearby residents, with 18 objections submitted to Gloucester City Council’s planning committee.

Mark Kubulus, of Thatcham Avenue, said:

“We seem to have a fast growing problem of crime, litter and anti-social-behaviour way in excess of anywhere else comparatively in Gloucester.

When I purchased my property I was sold a vision for Kingsway Village which I totally embraced. However the reality is now that I was sold a lie.”

Matthew Steele, of Chivenor Way, said:

“I object to the increase in social housing as this will change the balance of the community.
When many residents purchased their properties they were informed of the type and quantity of housing and to change the ratio now would be wrong.”

However, according to the report prepared for next Tuesday’s planning committee meeting, nothing can be done to control the level of Social Housing on the site.

The report, prepared by Joann Meneaud, states:

“It is noted that the majority of concerns raised by local residents relate to the increase in the amount of social housing to be provided. It is a condition of the development at RAF Quedgeley that 30% of all housing is social housing.
The developer cannot provide less than 30% but there are no restrictions should the developer wish to exceed this amount. Therefore the increase in the numbers of social housing on this site is acceptable.
Ultimately the developer could chose to sell all the plots to a registered housing provider without any further recourse to this planning authority.”

The application will be discussed when Gloucester City Council’s planning committee meets next Tuesday.

The meeting will start at 6pm at the authority’s North Warehouse headquarters in Gloucester Docks and is open to the public.


30 Responses to “Kingsway Hits The Headlines… Again”

    Darrjeff

    While I would like it all finished, your comments are not really fully founded. The shops and pub’ were dependant on a certain number of houses being sold and this condition was in place before the building commenced.

    The open space beside the park is quite large so I don’t see what you can really complain about there, and there are two parks with I believe another one coming in the future.

    The roads is certainly a concern of mine, I would like to see more finished, and for the kerbs that have been destroyed by builders to be replaced, but that will not happen until the buildings are finished.

    I am all for having a go to get what we are entitled to, but you have to balance the “what we have been promised” with the conditions that were also in place.

    Also, you do have to allow for our current economic climate, people are not buying houses at the same rate as predicted, so it makes sense that things will take longer.

    Well I feel sorry for the people who got sucked into the whole Kingsway village concept created by the developers.

    Where are the shops and pub’ that was promised? The finished roads and finished pavements? No large open spaces for the children to play in, all there is is a small area only made into a park because the the tree is protected and they can’t build a house on it.

    All we get is promises but no action.

    To be honest the Name Kingsway Village was just marketing hype to sell houses.

    Ashley, I think you are right about it being too late, as a lot of the issues we are dealing with were decided years before the first brick was laid! Either by Government stipulation, local Government planning and the builders attitudes themselves.

    Good old Tony and his put up or shut up style of government!

    Paul, I don’t think anyone has an issue with affordable/shared equity housing, I for one think we need more of this type of housing I also don’t think that anyone on this site has an issue with them, in today’s economy it is the perfect step for most on the ladder to the UK obsession with total home ownership.

    One thing I am concerned about though is the belief that by increasing the social housing is a good thing because it means we will get amenities quicker, however if the make up of the village is wrong then were are all in for a nasty surprise, local shops etc are a magnet for undesirables and thugs to hang around in the evening, probably creating a handy meeting place for our moped riding friends.

    Why should we just be forced to accept what is going on in a place we all have invested a lot of money in with no say whatsoever? I applaud the attitude of some who push the “it’ll all be OK in the end!” mentality but sadly I don’t think it will and unfortunately I get the impression it’s already to late to do anything about it.

    Baz…

    We cross-posted (mine took me ages to finish) 😆

    I’m not suprised to hear about the new (40%) level… no doubt – at least in part – due to the things I said.

    Ashley,
    "How has this ever been decided on before it happens?"
    That my friend, is the “Tony Blair” style of governement… still alive and well in the UK :mrgreen:

    MissC,
    Ahhh…OK – Gotcha 🙂

    G Note,
    No problem 🙂 You’re entitled to your opinion… and I do understand yor concerns, I just think you’ll (eventually) find things are not as bad as you’re assuming they’re gonna be. But I can see why you’d be worried.

    Ashley,
    That’s a good/fair way to approach the subject IMHO… and I think you make some good points… I’ll be interested to know what response you get.

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for joining in 🙂
    I have similar experiences with regard to private / HA tenants (which is one reason why I tend to jump to the defence of SH/HA tenants when folks make thoughtless remarks).
    You’re right about the depression… Sadly it’s the reason for the devaluation as well as the reason for the applications to change the concentration of AH/SH/HA properties.
    On the flip-side, the sooner the number of residents increases, the sooner we all get some of the facilities we need (a point which – I believe Baz_k made earlier).

    kingswayres,
    I took care of your posts (thanks for the messages).


    Folks,

    There’s another point I’d like to make:

    There are many families requiring affordable / social housing for many different reasons.

    The economic situation will have increased that number (not only are more people worse off, so unable to afford to buy, many will have had houses repossessed) thus – during times like these – the requirement for SH/AH will actually be increasing!

    At the same time, the requirement for “regular house sales” will decrease (less buyers around and many wealthy folks less interested in investing in property / buying to rent).

    Again, the decrease in private houses available for rent (or in the growth of that sector) will increase the requirement for SH/AH.

    The decrease in requirement for private housing has also slowed down the building of new houses for SH/AH (IE: It is now 30% of a number which is growing slower than anticipated).

    So… despite the fact that the %’age will increase, it will still be a larger %’age of fewer houses… at a time when it actually needs to be more!

    I don’t see how – in circumstances like these – we could have expected anything else!

    The economy is the real culprit (for which you can blame Gordon Brown if you like).

    It’s hard for people who have paid top price for housing only to see the value fall – but again – it’s the economy, not the SH/AH tenants!

    Just as a small note: Given a conversation (not in a formal context) I have had, it is government stipulation that all new builds should be 40% social housing. It seems that the builders have tried to keep it down, but due to economic climate have not been able to do so.

    Kingswayres : I have been here for a couple of years now. I may be optimistic, but I see a lot worse going on in Gloucester as a whole than is going on in Kingsway.

    I am not keen to follow your stigmatization and class dividing that you seem to want. We all need to live together. I do own my own house and pay a fortune in mortgage, but I don’t look at what others are paying and look on jealously. I’m happy with my lot.

    At the end of the day, we will only make a happy community by talking! Making people feel inferior and treating them that way will only make things worse.

    Get yourselves round tot he big lunch a week Sunday at the big park and make our community happen.

    Is the meeting still going ahead on Tuesday?
    How has this ever been decided on before it happens?

    Labour MP’s in the area with contact details including Mr Hobbs:
    http://iwc2.labouronline.org/166512/the-team

    Except from thisisgloucestershire….

    Labour leader Mark Hobbs (Moreland) emphasised the need for social housing in Gloucester.
    He said: “We owe it to this city to provide social housing”
    “I have been pleased that the Kingsway estate has been able to offer the social housing.”

    Pleased ….. I bet he’s pleased as they’re using Kingsway as the dumping ground.

    Hi Ashley,
    I agree with you. It’s the fact they are now increasing the percentage.

    Paul – I have no problem with any HA tenants if they respect the area.
    I commonly witness the HA rented properties where children hang out of the windows and run riot around the estate.

    BazK – whatever tablets your on can you send me some!? Maybe when the summer holidays arrive and your car is used as a climbing frame your opinion may change?
    Are these the types of people we’re supposed to huddle together with in community spirit of the village?
    I think not.

    G Note / Ashely / Miss C – we need to stand together on this and do something about it.
    I’m not prepared to let some idiot Labour MP to ruin the area and de-value property even more.

    All we need now is the incinerator to put the icing on the cake!

    Hi all,

    I read this thread with interest and just thought now was the time to speak up.

    My partner and I are with Gloucester Housing Association. We bought 50% of our property under a shared ownership scheme and both hold fairly well paid jobs. We unfortunately could not afford to buy outright and the part-buy scheme haled a new way to buy our own home. Please be aware that when you post comments knocking housing association tenants, even those on part-buy schemes are still classed as HA tenants.

    We too don’t want to see our house value decrease. However to all those that are saying that you will or have lost money, we are in a recession. A recession that will take a while to come back out of, and unfortunately for all it does mean that your house has been de-valued, not by tenants but by a recession.

    I’d also like to point out that my neighbours are also part-buy tenants, with private owners the other side, and both of them are the nicest people you could meet. As for the comments about telling which houses are HA tenants and which are owned let me put this scenario across. ‘House A’ is well kept, and has just had a lot of landscaping work done on it, has two well-behaved children. ‘House B’ has rubbish piled up outside, the family spend most of their time smoking on the front doorstep and the children are regularly seen climbing over walls. ‘House A’ is the family on a part-buy scheme, ‘House B’ is privately owned. Also my house and the one next door are identical to one that has been built at the end of Holbeach, so the designs of the houses make no difference at all.

    As for the time taken to develop and the design of the village. I grew up through the 80’s and 90’s living near to Bradley Stoke. A village that has grown to a town, that has no parking whatsoever and has no green space. This also suffered due to an economic downturn and the area has just benefited from a new town centre and plenty of refurbishment. The village will take time to complete. The roads will not be tarmac’d until the developers lorries stop using them. It will take time, it wont be as quick as we’d hoped. But as a village we all need to pull together, to make this our village and make the most of all the opportunities that there are here.

    Quite frankly if you don’t want to be here and judge the new residents when they arrive, then you are all guilty of being prejudiced. Something I thought we got rid of in this country. Please give people a chance, us housing association tenants can be quite nice if you give us a chance!

    Personally I’m not fussed who lives in the SH/HA houses, some are good, some are bad and some are indifferent. What I do have a problem with is being lied to and cheated which in effect is what’s happened.
    I bought my house from Bryant under the understanding that there were to be 30% Social Housing and exactly where they were going to be. This has now been changed to 42% and they are spread all over. As far as I am concerned this is a breach of contract on behalf of the builder! It is bad enough that I have lost £50k on my house but I’ll probably never be able to sell it!
    How long will it be until were up to 50%?

    I will be taking legal advice on this contract breach and would be interested to know how the residents who have already taken advice got on?

    Hi Clive,
    I didn’t mention that increasing the HA levels here would lower them elsewhere, I think it may have been misread. I meant that other smaller developments around the county have far higher levels than 42%, (take the one out at Barnwood it’s 50%) and the one at Huntley is also 50%, so all in all I may be annoyed but it’s maybe not as bad as we had feared.
    I just don’t like the being lied to.
    30% is not 42%. I’m sorry but the way the development has turned then to increase it when things get tough just seems to ask for trouble to me.
    Sorry if I’ve offended anyone. it’s not my intention, my intention is to let it be known that we are not happy, but I suspect the people I want to hear it don’t care or aren’t reading!
    When you have spent a lot of money and put yourself in 30 years of debt, it’s a tough cookie to swallow in my opinion.
    Then to watch your area turn into a dump isn’t nice.
    So next time someone tries to say you are picking on me, think again, you may not be in our position, why does everyone forget about us who are paying for this!

    Clive – When I said SH I mean all social / housing association etc. I am not ‘picking on’ ‘insulting’ anyone! I quote – “may sound anti – HA, Buy to let, Council – I am not, I am just like that in the % terms.”

    I hope that clears that up.
    As for my comment about the 10% term, that I what I was led to believe on my development. I have not known about the 30% terms before. I haven’t been concentrating on the new build % terms over the years – Sorry.

    Hi Neighbours,

    MissC: Sorry to hear you’re having such a bad day, but:

    "I chose this area as I honestly thought 10% would be given to SH"
    Why? Gov’t guidelines have stipulated 30% for new-build, for years now!

    " I thought no one else who didn’t care for their surroundings – thinking it was out of the way for them – would move here…"
    So you’re saying that you think that SH occupiers don’t care where they live! 😯

    "and now the roundabout is bare "
    Read this to find out why… It has nothing to do with SH/HA/QUVL/housing market etc.

    Sorry to pick your post apart… (I don’t mind an occasional rant myself – lol) but a lot of what you say simply does not make sense, and will do nothing other than to upset/annoy/insult SH tenants, many of whom make a great contribution to the community!

    The fact is that much of what you’re complaining about has to do with the numbers of houses sold (or lack of)… not the levels of SH. The increase in the numbers of SH will – if anything – help to speed up the schedule for building amenities etc.

    GNote:
    I’m fairly sure you’ll find that increasing the SH levels here won’t reduce the levels for new build elsewhere… (even in the Cotswolds)!

    "My problem is with the ones that don’t care about their home or the area and don’t look after their children." I agree… but this is just as often true of private rentals/buyers as of SH tenants/buyers.

    "it’s very clear who is in a HA home and who is not. If this was truly fair then they should look the same! (Or am I again wrong?)"There are a lot of reasons why HA’s might ask for design alterations, (much like private buyers)!
    To be honest, many of the HA properties look exactly like the private versions… and let’s face it, there are many differences in private housing styles too!

    For myself… I shall wait and see what happens. After all – I bought a house in Quedgeley back in 1982 and within 6 months houses on either side of me were rented privately… to 2 of the worst neighbours anyone could ever wish for!
    I contacted the landlord (same for both) and he told me “if you don’t like it, move”!
    I would have been far better of with HA tenants as neighbours 🙄

    Also my view was not aimed at all housing tenants, (just thought I would add that in), I thought I had made my feelings clear.

    Hi Baz,

    Your right now I’ve read what I typed it does sound like I’m being a hypocrite. Maybe I worded it wrong.
    My problem is with the ones that don’t care about their home or the area and don’t look after their children.
    Those that do are fantastic, but lets look at the build itself; it’s very clear who is in a HA home and who is not. If this was truly fair then they should look the same! (Or am I again wrong?) We also should not be allowed to call the HA to complain, because you can’t do the same about someone who owns their home. To me that’s a bit discriminatory, and to be fair we shouldn’t need to, but the fact is we do.

    Sorry if I’m sounding like a right (you know what) but I’m annoyed at the problems with this development that are not being sorted already and I just can’t help but feel an increase is only going to make things worse.
    If there is anything that anyone can tell me to put me at ease, I would welcome it.
    I’m also strongly in favour of the increase in affordable housing schemes, that’s a brilliant idea.

    I have no problem with people having an opinion, its a free country. However please have the decency to stick by them. To – in the first case – say you are completely devastated about the level of HA, then to say that your comments are not aimed at self respecting HA tenants is complete hypocrisy.

    If there are HA tenants who are good (and I know a lot) then that means that of the 40% then not all of them are “bad”.

    If every single HA tenant was “ok” then would you still have a problem?

    At the end of the day, we are all residents. I paid a lot of money for my house with an expectation, as we all did. There are plenty of things I am unhappy about with respect to the builders and QUVL (parking being a big one), but I think this is a complex issue and to come down with the view that all Social Housing tenants are the same is hugely discriminatory and narrow minded!

    On the plus side, the more houses that get sold (by whatever means) means we get closer to having all our amenities!

    Hi MissC.

    I agree with what you have just said.
    I am devastated. I have completely been mis-sold my property, which I am now talking to my builder about.

    I am not happy at all.

    Yes there is a need for HA but not like we have now.
    All because of Persimmon and a Council that really doesn’t care about the people they represent. We have to now watch our lovely dream (which all those of us who own and rent have worked hard for) be destroyed.

    We have been lied to on an epically dangerous scale. I wish I had listened to my family and friends who told me DO NOT BUY A NEW BUILD! Now if I want to move out, I have no option but to do a part-ex and get my self in massive levels of debt.
    I don’t mind HA on a small scale, there needs to be a balance but 40% on an estate that is already at the bottom of the hill is just asking for trouble.
    Now we have to live with the greed and stupidity of others who don’t live in Gloucester, but live in the Cotswolds and don’t give a damn about us.

    For a note, I feel sorry for those self respecting people who rent and live in HA, and those who genuinely cannot work for whatever that reason may be. My comments you may feel are aimed at you, please they are not. You are the people HA is for, and I have no problems AT ALL having you as my neighbours. This is your village too, as you care and respect and love your home and family. I’m sure most of you are angered over the increase as how many nice people can you move here, they will start moving not-so-nice people here, which is where I very strongly object to the increase in HA.

    G Note,

    Yes (sigh) I noticed it had been agreed too, which is a real shame because I now feel that I am probably going to lose money on my house and indeed have less respect for the area.

    When I came to choose my home I had gone from owning a house then to renting and then to buying again and I chose this area as I honestly thought 10% would be given to SH, the rest would be home owners and it would be a nice place to live. I thought no one else who didn’t care for their surroundings – thinking it was out of the way for them – would move here.

    It does seem that the nightmare I thought wouldn’t happen has happened and on a larger scale than I ever could have imagined. I don’t even live near where most of the commotion happens, but when picking my house I sort of knew where it would and I haven’t been wrong. Yet other issues have arisen that I saw from the plans wouldn’t have, of which I will be investigating myself because if the drawings are wrong then I shall be having words.

    I am not into moaning etc but I am into taking care of your own surroundings and I feel privileged in knowing my neighbours and knowing that they are respectful people, however something seems to be intent on destroying the values we all have and ruining our so called ‘village experience’. I hate to say it but people are right when they ask “is this a village or an estate”! Be honest even I call it an estate these days and when entering the village there is an open space to the left with ‘ no through road ‘ and now the roundabout is bare. The trees could do with a trim back. If I were QUVL I would turn my back on this place too! What is the point just sell to HA, Council, buy to let and let real homeowners suffer.

    I may sound anti – HA, Buy to let, Council – I am not I am just like that in the % terms. Someone on here said even their employee friend turned down the option to live here; well I am very happy to know that our tax is allowing for someone to pick and choose where they live.

    Anyone who wants to catch the moped crew I suggest taking pictures hard evidence is what the Police need to prosecute. I caught something a little more than illegal on camera the other day – of which I am in process of informing the Police – right on my doorstep!

    Now what am I happy about? Yes, the people that live right by me, but if we feel the same and we want to move, what happens then?

    Just thought you should know the plans have been approved. Kingsway is now officially a council estate! The only thing we can do is find out which HA is buying and plead with them to make the majority affordable homes and not social homes. This is a good idea as it will help invigorate the Market. Sorry for being negative but people can tell me what they want, Social Housing can only be a bad thing. Coneyhill wouldn’t be the place it is if the people there were truly lovely!

    To be honest, it’s not the HA tenants that are the problem, its all the residents not pulling together and becoming a community. To make a bunch of houses a Village, we need community spirit and we are not doing ourselves any favours. The builders and QUVL can only provide infrastructure, and you can only blame so much on not having a local shop. We are a group of around 1000 people who are very insular and are quire happy to have a moan on here but very few people are willing to go out there and try to make a difference.

    Lets try to make a community worth working for, it in OUR power to do that, not QUVL’s or the Citizen.

    Oops, by the way, as a moaner, I cannot make the meeting but have put in my objections.

    Sorry but i’m with kingswayre on this one.

    When I moved to the “Village” in 2007 I visited every house builder, saw every showhome and purposely looked for where the full 100% social housing would be on each builders plan and chose the area with the least.
    Not snobbery but previous experience.

    I too was sold on the village life. Unfortunately it has not materialised.

    I understand that the current climate means there is a hold on the mass building that we saw when we first moved here. Also, that they cannot start on the facilities until a certain number have moved into the village.

    But I work on all of the estates in Gloucester and can see the decline in Kingsway from what it was and looked like in 2007 to what it is now. Some of the estates in Gloucester do have a bad name but recent hard work by multi organisations have brought them up to a respectable standard from what they were. That isn’t happening in Kingsway. Housebuilders cannot abide each-other, no-one is talking to QUVL who seem more disinterested now than ever before, and there is no sense of community spirit. There may be in your area of Kingsway but maybe you should do some canvassing on the whole village to find a true census.

    Clive you can defend the statistics all you like but it’s peoples feelings we’re dealing with. It seems there are many people are fed up (including myself) with the way they have been mis-sold their expensive loans and now cannot afford, or are not able to move. If I could, I would be as far away from Kingsway as possible.

    The facts are that they have ignored (as usual) the majority and will probably go ahead with the ever expanding social housing sector on Kingsway.

    The article actually reads:

    “The developer cannot provide less than 30% but there are no restrictions should the developer wish to exceed this amount. Therefore the increase in the numbers of social housing on this site is acceptable.
    Ultimately the developer could choose to sell all the plots to a registered housing provider without any further recourse to this planning authority.”

    So unless the climate changes soon, and the builders choose to do so, Kingsway could ultimately become the largest social housing estate in Gloucester, and the residents are powerless to stop it.

    😆 Yeah… folks just love to moan huh!

    Wonder who was in charge of their calculator? :mrgreen:

    I know the crime level is lower here and I have pointed this out on the glos website! It does seem to be other people from Glos or Chelt etc that seem to think we are crime capital – Almost like The Bronx in America!!

    I really do hope people who have whinged and moaned about it all can make that meeting next Tuesday at 6pm. It could make all the difference because if you don’t then you can’t moan afterwards!
    I for one will be putting in an appearance as I care about where I live and feel that people are beginning to call Kingsway an Estate where as it is meant to be a ‘village ‘

    Hi kingswayres,

    Thanks for joining in 🙂

    The news article has been published here by another member, so I moved your comment to this thread.

    Hi MissC,

    Thanks for posting this article from: here.

    The first mistake is:

    The site was originally planned to contain social housing making up 30% of the total number of properties.
    However, a revised planning application for part of the estate has seen that level rise to 42%, with 20 out of 67 new homes set aside for social housing.

    20 Out of 67 represents 29.85%🙄

    The 2nd (common assumption) is:

    “We seem to have a fast growing problem of crime, litter and anti-social-behaviour way in excess of anywhere else comparatively in Gloucester.”

    But if you take a look at the Gloucester South SCT Police Reports for the area, you’ll see that statistics show that the crime levels in Kingsway are not “fast growing” at all (in fact are quite low per head of population)!

    …Now I remember why I don’t read local newspapers 🙄

    I know that several Kingsway residents are hoping to attend the meeting.

    Hi,

    I’m not sure if any of you have visited thisisgloucestershire today?
    I’m very concerned about the decline of the village.

    In my opinion more HA will cause more problems.
    If something is not done soon – Kingsway will be the next ‘Matson or Coney Hill’.

    HA’s put tenants from worse areas into Kingsway and hope they will rise to the standards of their neighbours. Unfortunately this is not the case.

    I now feel mis-sold my property and I’m sure there are many others who feel the same.

    Sorry to the handful of HA tenants that do respect the area and their homes.

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