Some Key Questions you may want to ask us!
This document has been produced at the request of the Saltmill Estate Regeneration Panel, which is made up of tenants and owner occupiers of homes on the estate.
The Council is currently at the stage where we are assessing regeneration and redevelopment options in terms of high-level costs and feasibility. Once we have completed this stage we will know what the options would cost and whether the Council is able to commit to spending the money. We will then consult with the community on the outcome of this including any options that are feasible. The information below is to answer queries that you might have in the meantime.
Cornwall Housing Tenants
- Will development affect my existing ‘Right to Buy’?
If you are a secure tenant, then you will continue to have the Right to Buy. However, if the decision is made to regenerate, involving the demolition of some homes, Cornwall Council would issue a Demolition Notice as part of the process. This would mean you would not be able to purchase your current home, as we will require this home for the redevelopment of the site. As a secure tenant, you will retain the Right to Buy should you move to an alternative home with Cornwall Housing. It will also apply if you return to the site in the future, as a secure tenant.
- How much will you pay me for my current home if I register my Right to Buy now?
If you are registered for the Right to Buy at present, your house will have been valued and, until the Demolition Notice has been served, Cornwall Council will be expected to follow their usual Right to Buy processes and timescales.
- What if I say No, I don’t want to move? Can you make me move?
Even though you have secure tenancy agreement, Cornwall Council can seek to move you from your home to allow the redevelopment to progress. Cornwall Council would work with you to find an alternative home which meets your needs.
- If I stay, are you going to work around me, how can I live on a building site?
It depends upon the location of your home and the phasing of any redevelopment work. It may be possible, and even necessary, to phase the work to focus on a section of the estate whilst some residents remain in their homes. However, the precise detail is not known yet.
- Where are you planning to move me? Will we all be moved to the same place? Will the property be the same size as the one we live in now?
Every tenant will have different needs to be considered as part of a moving process. We plan to sit down with each household and talk to you individually about your household’s needs, in order to consider how alternative accommodation may be best arranged. This could include HomeChoice bidding, direct matching to suitable vacancies, or support to move to new areas. We appreciate every household situation is different and individual discussion will be required to consider what arrangement will best suit you.
It would not be possible to move every tenant at the same time, this would be a long process to work with individual families to find new homes.
The size of the property will need to meet your household’s needs, there may be circumstances when we would permit under or over-occupation of a home as part of the move process for redevelopment, but this will be by exception. In the main tenants would be allocated new homes which meet their household needs.
- What are my rights? Where can I get more information?
We are only at the stage of costing up options and assessing feasibility at the moment. There will not be a decision by the Council to financially commit to the project until we know what options might be feasible and have consulted on options with you.
If the decision is made to progress with regeneration, we would advise all homeowner to check up on their own rights, feel free to contact your own solicitor, CAB, or on-line. The Council will set up a webpage with advice and we will let you know where you can find this. Further information will be found in the ‘INFORMATION’ magazine which will be delivered to your homes in due course.
- How long would it take to build the new development? How long would we have to live in the place you have moved us to?
The actual build times are not yet known, but it will be in excess of 12 months, before any homes are able for occupation. Tenants would expected stays of 2 -3 years in alternative housing, but this would depend upon when they move out, how long it takes for Cornwall Council to obtain possession of all the homes, and then commence the redevelopment process.
- Will you guarantee that we would be able return to the new development – in the same type of property we are in now.
If you wish to return to the site, then we would guarantee that all tenants would have the opportunity to return to the site. The exact location and type of property cannot be confirmed at this stage but will meet your registered housing need.
- Would moving to a new home change my rent levels and service charges?
This is possible but further information cannot be confirmed until we know which home you are moving to.
- Would moving to a new home trigger me being moved to universal credit?
Moving home would not trigger a move to Universal Credit. However, if your circumstances have changed and you have not told anyone, this would be picked up in the process and could prompt a change to Universal Credit. The Council will provide contact details of the team who would be able to guide you through the process and will be happy to help.
- Can I take my pets with me to a new home?
This will depend upon the home that you move to. All landlords have their own rules relating to having pets in the home. This information will be shown on the Homechoice bidding system or explained to you if you choose a direct let and would allow you to make a choice about where you live. We would make any new homes on the estate pet friendly.
- Would the property I move to be in a good condition?
All the homes, whether allocated through Homechoice or direct let would have been inspected by the landlord before advertising to ensure it is suitable for re-let. Properties available to you would be of varying ages and conditions and you should consider the condition of the home before submitting a bid.
- Would I need to transfer my bills to my new home?
Yes, you would need to tell your utility suppliers (and Cornwall Council) that you have moved so that your bills can be transferred to your new home. We have a team that can help you with this and take meter readings before you move out if necessary.
- Would you pay me compensation, with all the costs of moving?
Cornwall Housing has a draft Moving Home Policy which details the typical items which we will support tenants with compensation towards. Tenants will be paid Disturbance Payment and Homeloss Payment. Information is found below in this document.
- Could me and my neighbour move together and live near or next to each other?
That may be possible, but depends on the individual needs of you and your neighbour. If there is a need to provide care & support, and we are able to find a solution where this can continue, then we will try to.
- Will my repairs still get done?
Your repairs will continue to be done to your home in exactly the same manner and process which they would have been completed before. The only thing which will change is that Cornwall Housing will cease to complete larger jobs of planned maintenance which would prove to be poor use of public money if you home is going to be demolished.
- How much would you pay me for my house?
Your home would be valued as part of a process for repurchase. Cornwall Council would develop a process for buying back homes from residents on the site. This will include the formal valuation and agreement on how legal and other expenses will be met. Home owners will be paid a Disturbance Payment and a Homeloss Payment. Please see further information about this below.
- What if I say no? Are you planning to compulsorily purchase it?
Cornwall Council will work with all home owners in order to buy back your home, we do not intend to resort to compulsory purchase, but that may be necessary as a last resort to enable the regeneration of this area.
- Houses here are cheaper than in other parts of Saltash. Will you guarantee that the price you pay me will be sufficient to buy a property of the same size in the same sort of setting elsewhere?
Cornwall Council’s process for purchasing back your home will be based upon its value and we will work with you to help you find a new home. The Council will offer help and support to find another home and would intend to provide shared ownership homes on the new development which you would have an option of purchasing if you wish to move back to the estate. It may be possible to offer an equity loan to support some owners to return but this will be dependant on individual circumstances and will need to be agreed with the Council.
Both Tenants and Owner Occupiers
- How will I find a new home to move to?
The Council will offer advice and support in finding you a new home. Further details, including who to speak to will be provided once a decision has been made on whether to proceed with a regeneration option.
- Can I move back once the new homes are built?
If you are an owner-occupier, your home will be valued as part of the re-purchase process. If you wish to return to the new estate, then you may wish to use this money for payment towards a new home, but the details of what homes are being built and their value are not yet known. As mentioned above, we hope to build shared ownership homes which you may be eligible to purchase and would be priced below local open market homes. If you are a tenant and you wish to return to the site, then you will need to tell us early in the process so that we can try to accommodate your wishes as best we can.
- Am I entitled to compensation?
There are two types of compensation which may be available depending on your circumstance, These are known as ‘Disturbance Allowance’ and ‘Homeloss Payment’.
All tenants and owners will receive this which is used to cover reasonable costs of your move. This covers items such as removals service, re-fitting your existing carpets in your new home, gas disconnections and re-connections amongst a few other things. Cornwall Housing would enter into an agreement with a removal company, carpet fitter, gas fitter and electrician to help you and we would pay the company directly for this service. Other costs that you incur that are directly associated with your move may be recoverable by prior agreement with us and on production of a receipt. As an example, the Disturbance Payment for tenants and owners at Urban Terrace in Callington was as set out in the table below.
Disturbance Payment – Urban Terrace, Callington
1 bed flat
2 bed flat
2 bed house
3 bed house
4 bed house
If the decision is made proceed with a regeneration option, you may be entitled to a minimum Homeloss payment if you have occupied the property for a minimum of 1 year. The payment is currently set as £6,300 as a Cornwall Housing tenant.
If you are an owner, the amount of Homeloss payment is set between £6,300 and £63,000. The actual amount is calculated based on the value of the home and is 10% if you are an owner occupier and 7.5% if you are a non-occupying owner (such as a landlord)
This payment will be made minus any arrears or other debts that you have outstanding with Cornwall Housing. You must leave your home and garden empty on the day of your move and if we have to clear items you leave behind, the cost of this will be deducted from your Homeloss Payment.
How disruptive would new development be to people living nearby?
We appreciate that any demolition and re-building works would at times be noisy and disruptive to surrounding residents. We would work hard with the construction company to minimise any problems and ensure that access to the remaining homes on the estate is kept open and that work is undertaken during sensible hours. We would have staff on site at most times to deal with any problems that might arise.
What kind of homes would be built on the estate?
This has not yet been decided as we are at the very early stages of the process. We plan to engage with you as a resident, and the wider community over the coming months to establish what types of homes people want. We would like to provide a better mix of tenures across the site including shared ownership and open market homes as well as social rented and affordable rented homes. We also intend to provide at least as many social rented homes on the site as there are at present. We would like to provide 1 bed, 2 bed, 3 bed and 4 bed homes.
I need to live in walking distance of the local school, family, doctors etc. Can you find me a property near these places?
We would endeavour to work with you to find a home which is suitable to your needs including close to local schools, family, work etc. We would discuss your needs individually so that we can help you find a suitable home in the right location.
Who are you moving into the empty council houses?
At the moment, Cornwall Housing will use some of the vacant homes as temporary accommodation, in order to avoid more costly forms of emergency housing such as b&b’s. This will only be for a short period of time.
How long is it going to take until you empty council houses and turn the estate into a building site? I am worried that you will increase anti-social behaviour in this area and we will have to suffer in the meantime.
The Council and Cornwall Housing would meet with all tenants and home owners to discuss and agree all moving arrangements. Clearly, this would be a lengthy process which could take 1 – 2 years. We would ensure that all vacant homes are safe a secure and we would ensure a security presence in order to make sure that empty homes do not attract unwanted visitors.