Friday 28 February 2020

St Raphael's Estate: a recent meeting and upcoming exhibition

I wrote recently about the competition between two groups to win the hearts and minds of people on the St Raphael's Estate where residents are faced with choosing between refurbishment and in-filling on the estate or complete demolition and rebuild financed by the development of private housing on the estate.

St Raphael's Estate Community organised a public meeting attend by more than 60 residents on February 25th which was attended by ASH (Architects for Social Housing) as well as by some leading members of St Raphael's Voice.  St Raphael's Voice claim on Twitter to be the represenative voice:
St Raphaels Voice - The Representative Residents/Tenants/Stakeholders Board for St Raphaels Estate are officially on Twitter - Please ignore all other fake accounts
Further details on the Brent Council website HERE 

St Raphael's Estate Community also on Twitter state:
 Their website is HERE

Inevitably I understand there was some disagreement between the two groups at the meeting.

ASH have published a full account of the meeting with slides from their presentation on their website HERE along with the two videos below. The first is the main presentation and the second an account by Pete Firmin on the experience of residents on the South Kilburn Estate of 15 years of redevelopment/regeneration with another 15 to go.

St Raphael's Voice are advertising two public exhibitions of design alternatives for the estate:

Today Brent Council issued this press release about the exhibition:

The St Raphael’s community will get their first glimpse of what their future estate could look like at two public exhibitions in early March.

The exhibitions, taking place on Saturday 7 March between 12-4pm at St Patrick’s Church, and Tuesday 10 March between 5-8pm at Henderson House, will be a chance for residents to have a first look at the initial designs for infill development and redevelopment – the two approaches being considered to improve St Raphael’s for existing residents while providing much needed new affordable housing.

Earlier this winter, residents attended 11 co-design workshops that saw them explore how each approach could best benefit the existing community. Karakusevic Carson Architects, who residents appointed as their chosen architect in July 2019, then used the community’s ideas to create the initial designs.

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Brent’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “For the last year we’ve been working closely with residents and community groups as they have created plans for how their estate could look and feel in the future. It’s vitally important that the community continues to lead the design process, so I encourage everyone living locally to tell us what they think and their preferred design option.”

Chair of the estate’s resident board St Raphael’s Voice, Asif Zamir, said: “The public exhibition is a significant milestone for all residents; I’m excited to see the community turn out and to have some thought provoking conversations on the possibilities, and their aspirations, for the future of our estate. We will continue to empower residents to lead the way forward together, so that we can get the best outcome for everyone whichever option is preferred.”

Following the exhibitions, the community’s preferred initial designs will be tested to ensure they meet planning guidelines and are affordable. Later this year eligible residents will choose their preferred vision for the future of St Raphael’s.

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