Sawyers Close: Questions and answers – February 2022

Consultation

What is happening at the moment?

We’ve just announced that we’re ready to start developing ideas and designs for the potential regeneration of Sawyers Close. This was the preferred option that came out of last year’s survey of our customers.

We’ll be consulting our customers and the local community throughout most of 2022 – and we’re kicking this off with a Future Homes Survey for customers this month.

We won’t make any decisions without involving our customers – we want to hear what you think and get your help in shaping the future Sawyers Close.

What’s a Future Homes Survey?

To help us design the new homes, we need to know what our customers would actually like to see. This includes the style of home people would like to live in, the facilities they want to have and specific family needs.

We will be sending the survey out to all our customers by post – and also putting it on the Sawyers Close website. It can be sent back to us in the post, by email or online, or we can arrange for an Abri officer to drop by and fill it in with you.

What’s the consultation plan?

The consultation plan will last throughout much of 2022. We’re starting with the Future Homes Survey of our customers in February and we’ll follow that up with customer workshops in April when we will share the findings of the Survey, explain more about how the consultation will work and show some early plans for the vision for Sawyers Close. We’ll be keen to get initial feedback.

In June, we’ll hold a public exhibition which customers and the wider local community will be invited to and where we’ll start to share detailed designs, informed by earlier comments.

In September, there will be another event where we will show the final plans.

How can I get involved?

We will be writing to our customers every step of the way, giving full details of the events and how to join in. All the information will also be on the Sawyers Close website where you can also send us any questions directly.

Timetable

How long might regeneration take?

We’re still at a very early stage and no final decisions have yet been taken on whether we will proceed with regeneration. We will be consulting fully this year and then reporting back to our Board on the final plans, before we submit a planning application to the Council.

The whole process could take 3-5 years, including planning and construction.

Will regeneration actually happen?

We are committed to improving the lives of our customers at Sawyers Close – that will happen. We’re replacing the heating system this year.

A planning application will only be submitted after a full consultation has taken place with Abri’s customers and the local community.

Temporary accommodation for customers

What are the temporary accommodation options?

We are some way off making these decisions.

At the appropriate time, we would have discussions with our customers and look to meet their individual needs.

Will the temporary relocation involve moving people into converted office space?

No, it will not. If we do redevelop the estate, then we would build high quality new homes for our customers and others in need of housing across the Borough.

Customers would most likely need to move out for a period while the new homes are built; how we might do that and where people might be relocated to has yet to be decided.

The plans

Will Abri build on the playing fields?

The playing fields nearby do not form part of any proposal and we see them as an asset to be retained.

Should regeneration proceed, there would be better, more usable green space as a result.

Are you proposing more tower blocks at Sawyers Close?

We are at a very early stage in the process. First, we want to hear more from customers about the type of homes they would like to live in, including sizes, and then we can work on designs. We are not ruling out apartment buildings, but they would not be the same as the existing tower blocks.

How much green space will be lost as a result of your proposals?

We are committed to providing better, usable green space – at least as much play space as there is currently. The playing fields do not form part of the land that the Council agreed to transfer to us and therefore would not be in our control, regardless of whichever option we pursue. We want the playing fields to stay.

What is the Council’s involvement in all this?

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) Council shares our desire to see improved housing both for our customers and for residents of the borough more widely. The Council agreed last year to transfer adjacent land to Abri, to make sure that the possibility of regeneration remains open. If we were to develop the land, it would be used to provide much-needed affordable homes, not just for our customers but for others in housing need across the Borough.

RBWM is also the local planning authority, with whom we will need to consult throughout this process.

Where can I find out more?

You can visit our website at www.sawyersclose.com where we will be sharing the latest news and plans. You can also submit questions about the future of Sawyers Close.

Get in touch

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