Friary Park: rumour-busters

We are publishing this rumour buster because we are concerned that inaccurate information about our proposed redevelopment of Friary Park is in circulation.

This is causing distress to our tenants (many of who are dissatisfied with their homes) and residents of the surrounding area so we have a responsibility to address this incorrect information.

At this stage all of our proposals for Friary Park are just that: proposals. Our proposals are not fixed and are still being developed. The changes in the plans are informed by our consultation with residents and other local groups. We are also meeting regularly with Ealing Council.

“Rents on the redeveloped estate will be double what they are now”

Existing secure tenants on a ‘social rent’ will continue to pay a ‘social rent’.

The rent of your new home will depend on the size and type of home that you are offered and when you move into it. For example if a resident moves from a 2 bed to a 3 bed property they will pay the social rent for a 3 bedroom property. This is also the case where someone moves to a smaller property.

Anyone staying in the same size property will pay the same rent they are paying now but at the appropriate rate for the year they move in.

“Catalyst is land grabbing Friary Green, a public green, as the main outdoor space for the redevelopment”

We are not proposing to ‘take’ Friary Green or build on it.

Our current proposal puts the green space we are creating as part of our development, right next to the council owned Friary Green. Combining these two spaces will provide a larger public open space which will be an asset for the whole neighbourhood.

By including Friary Green in the area covered by the planning application, the council the can also consider the closure of the part of Friary Road that separates Friary Green from the rest of the development, and look at the larger resulting green space as a whole.

It does not mean we have to provide any less green space in the development or allow us to build additional homes in the development.

“Catalyst is profiteering from Cross Rail”

We strongly reject any claims and allegations that our redevelopment at Friary Park has any motivation other than providing the best possible homes for our residents.

We are a charitable Housing Association that exists to provide low cost housing. Every pound we make selling homes is reinvested in meeting our commitment to provide low cost housing.

There has been a massive reduction in the grants that the government gives to housing associations to build new houses. On Friary Park, we will pay for the building of high quality social rented homes by building additional homes for sale.

“Catalysts’ target market for privately sold apartments is overseas investors”

We do not have a target market.

All our homes for private sale will be offered to UK-based buyers before we do any promotion overseas; all of our marketing either meets or exceeds everything in the Mayor’s Concordat.

Cutting off the overseas market will inhibit our ability to achieve the replacement of poor, redundant housing stock with high quality new homes, let to people on low incomes at the same rent type they are currently paying.

“Catalyst are proposing a 29 storey tower”

We began our consultation process with proposals that incorporated a 20-storey building. After consulting with local residents, we have brought that building down to 16-storeys.

At no stage have we proposed a 29-storey tower.

“The development will reduce the number of social rented homes on the estate by 1/3”

Currently, there are 239 social rented homes on Friary Park. 15 of these will be kept; the other 224 will be demolished.

We are proposing to build 225 new social rented homes.

“One third of current tenants will not be able to return to the estate”

The first phase of proposals will require 69 households to move off site so that work can commence. The majority of the rest of the residents will be able to move straight into their brand new home.

Those who move off site will be able to tell us if they want to return when a suitable home becomes available.

In our experience, residents would prefer to move just once, meaning that those who wish to return have more chance of doing so.

“You organised the exhibition while people were on holiday as a devious way of avoiding consultation”

We have so far had 8 months of consultation and workshops around this project.

We held our latest exhibition as late as possible so that we could show the most up to date plans.

Schools break up on 23rd July and so we held our exhibition over the following two days; we’d been anticipating holding it the previous week but hadn’t wanted to clash with Eid.

You’ll be moved and won’t know where you’re going

We’re going to meet with you all individually to plan your rehousing. If you have to move off the estate you’ll be able to choose whether to move away permanently or just until a suitable new home is available, and whether to move locally.

Most of you will be able to move straight into a new home on Friary Park.

Nobody has a guaranteed right to return

Most of you will move straight into a new home on Friary Park. If we do need you to move away from Friary Park, we will give you the opportunity to move back to the estate as soon as a suitable new home is available. We are working with the Residents’ Steering Group to draw up a binding Residents’ Charter of our rehousing commiments.

People currently living in one bed flats won’t get a new home on the redeveloped Friary Park

There are currently 88 bedsits and one-bed flats on Friary Park and we are proposing to build 68 new one-bed flats. As some people currently in one-beds will need bigger flats for their families, and some will want to move away from Friary Park, we anticipate that we will be able to accommodate all current secure tenants who want to live on the redeveloped Friary Park.