Caledonia opens formal consultation with Bellsmyre residents

Formal consultation is under way to enable Caledonia Housing Association to action its £30 million regeneration plans for homes and services in the Bellsmyre area of Dumbarton.

Julie Cosgrove, chief executive of Caledonia Housing Association

This formal stage of consultation will conclude on 7 February 2020 and once feedback has been considered, will lead to a ballot of all tenants.

Every household has received detailed information about the transfer plans to Caledonia. This includes a list of commitments made by the housing association to re­sidents if they vote for the transfer.

The independent views of the Tenant Information Service (TIS), included in the information provided to tenants agree that the plans are viable and will deliver real benefits to the residents. During 2019 TIS held its own public consultation and the feedback revealed that residents are keen to see the regeneration of the Bellsmyre community.

Senior managers from Caledonia Housing Association are involved in the consultation. They will join staff going door-to-door down every street in the Bellsmyre estate to answer questions and listen to the views of the community. An open afternoon and evening will give tenants a further opportunity to ask Caledonia staff questions about the transfer before they make a final decision.

Caledonia has made a number of commitments in addition to the planned £30m regeneration plans. These include:

  • Rent freeze given in 2020/21 with a full rent review taking place the following year.
  • £3m planned improvements for the existing housing stock, which includes £500,000 over five years for estate improvements to create a safe, welcoming and vibrant community.
  • Full review of the non-standard constructed housing stock (steel-framed properties) within a year of the transfer.
Proposed improvements for Bellsmyre 

An independent financial assessment carried out by TIS confirms that the commitments to Bellsmyre residents can be delivered, should the tenants vote to become part of Caledonia Housing Association in February.

TIS reported the feedback from its independent financial assessment at a recent meeting with Bellsmyre Residents’ Forum. The group welcomed the news from TIS and suggested that landscape improvements could also include allotments for residents.

Louise Spence, chairperson at Bellsmyre Housing Association, said: “We have given careful consideration to the benefits and implications of a transfer. We believe that becoming part of Caledonia will give us the resources and experience to deliver real benefits as well as transforming the estate to meet tenants’ expectations.”

Sharon Donohoe, development director, Tenant Information Service, added: “We are pleased our financial assessment confirms that, if tenants vote for the proposed transfer to Caledonia, they would be able to deliver on their promises. I would encourage every tenant to read about the proposed transfer. Our team can also offer impartial advice on the proposals on 0141 248 1242.”

Julie Cosgrove, chief executive of Caledonia Housing Association, said: “I would like to thank the residents of Bellsmyre for their feedback and engagement with us on both the transfer and regeneration proposals. Our plans are based on this feedback and it is encouraging to have secured TIS endorsement in this regard.

“The team at Caledonia is fully committed to the potential for and regeneration of the Bellsmyre estate. We encourage tenants to review our proposals and continue to engage with us throughout this process.”

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