Haig Housing Trust, has conducted over 200 visits with tenants across the estate to hear your views on the plans so far.
Here is a selection of your frequently asked questions, and our answers:
1. When did the Government and Ministry of Defence
announce the availability of £40million funding to
organisations in order to provide homes for the ex-
We were informed in February 2014.
2. When did Haig decide to apply the funding to redevelop for the Morden estate?
Haig submitted applications in March 2014 for schemes in Morden, Edinburgh, Plumstead, Aldershot and Colchester. Haig was successful in all but Plumstead and notified in
3. When did Haig receive confirmation from the Government that they had been successful with their bid for the Morden estate?
June 2014. Our Chief Executive James Richardson sent a letter to tenants in July 2014 and a press release went out to the media and interested parties.
4. What further information has been sent to tenants about the bid?
Letter from John Lau, Director of Housing Services, in September 2014, inviting tenants to discuss their views. This was followed up with the appointment of Andy Nelson as Resident Relationship Manager to conduct the consultation of current residents through letters, visits and meetings.
5. Is there a deadline to spend the grant from the
6. Can any of the money be spent to refurbish and renovate existing homes on the estate?
This funding is for the development only to be spent on providing new homes. We plan to raise money over the next few years to fund the refurbishment and improvement of our existing homes in Morden and elsewhere. We do have an existing improvement programme at Morden to install new kitchens, bathrooms rewire homes and install new central heating boilers and these improvements will continue as programmed.
7. Who provided the costs for the scheme? How much funding has been provided for the scheme? Is any funding being provided by Haig Housing or just from the grant that has been received?
The Ministry of Defence provided £8.6 million across all our schemes proposed and Haig will provide any additional funding required from its own resources.
8. Is there sufficient money from the grant to build the 76 homes Haig wants?
At this stage we do not know all costs are provisional and we will until we have tendered the work later next year, but the current business plan takes into account cross funding from Haig’s reserves.
9. Will the homes still be built if you don’t spend the
funding by the deadline?
Yes, once the Trust has signed a contract with a builder
the schemes would be completed.
10. How did Haig decide on the proposal to provide up to 76 homes on the Morden estate?
A project team was appointed by the Trust to include architects and development consultants to advise on issues related to building on the estate including planning and heritage concerns. The figure of 76 is what we have received funding to provide.
11. Why Morden and not elsewhere?
Morden was selected as the estate for these new homes because it is the largest Haig estate, has the available land, and the majority of new applicants wish to live in the south of England and in particular around the London area.
We do have separate schemes to provide new homes to beneficiaries elsewhere as funding allows. For example we are currently refurbishing gifted properties in Manchester, purchasing and refurbishing properties in Aldershot and Colchester and developing in Scotland.
12. How were the Architects selected? Have you worked with the architects in the past?
Haines Phillips the appointed architects were selected to produce a feasibility study in January 2015 as they had worked with Haig at Woolwich in 2003/04, Hart Square in 2001 and 2005/06 and the Café site in 2013. Haines Phillips understands the area and our organisation well.
13. How many one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom homes are proposed?
We are building 8 one bedroom cottages at the Café Site. Across all other sites we have identified we should provide a fairly equal split between one, two and three bed properties with a few four bed homes by looking at current applicant’s data and the homes we have already. However, the final total will depend on the sites where planning permission is given.
Approximately 7 homes will be for wheelchair users or people with mobility needs but we may provide more that are adaptable homes.
14. Have Merton Council advised you of some sites on the estate where planning permission is very unlikely to be given?
The council do not want the aesthetics of the estate to be undermined and made it clear that they might oppose the development of the grass area between South Close, the Precinct and the Sanctuary.
The whole estate is in a conservation area and areas of mature trees cannot be cut down and the areas built upon.
15. If you only have funding for 76 homes why did you map 120 homes in the original Masterplan and will you be building on all the sites?
We previously developed a “masterplan” to establish potential areas for development on the estate In Morden.
At this time we only intend to build 76 units as the Haig does not have required funding in place for further development. If additional funds become available in the future, Haig may consider developing on other sites on the estate.
16. Which sites are the preferred sites to build on?
The Café, Rhodes Moorhouse Court and Hill Top.
17. If permission is not given to build on some sites will you consider building on other sites around the estate? If so, in what order?
Yes, dependent on funding, feedback from residents and advice from the LB Merton Planning Departmemnt.
18. A pre–planning application has recently been submitted to Morden Council, why was this submitted?
To get an understanding of the Planners thoughts, to avoid wasted time and resources pursuing plans that would not be agreed.
19. How long will it take Merton Council to reach a decision on the planning applications?
This depends, but usually 8 to 12 weeks. Therefore if a planning application is submitted in April 2016, planning permission could be granted in August 2016.
20. Does Merton Council have to inform me about the plans to build new homes on the estate?
Yes, and once we submit they will be available through its Planning consultation process and online planning portal for everyone to view and comment on. Details of the application will also be uploaded on the Haig website.
21. Even if I am a tenant can I write to Merton Council about the plans if I don’t agree with them?
Yes. But, our aim is to engage with you first through our consultation and address these problems to design out or alleviate your concerns before we submit our final plans. But, you always have the right to object directly to the Council.
22. Will any of the draft plans be amended to take into account tenants views on the proposals?
Yes, we want to provide a nice community for current and future tenants. Where possible changes will be made although we need to consider costs, practicality and the long term implications of the repairs and maintenance.
23. Are the new homes for new applicants or will existing tenants whether living at Morden or elsewhere be allowed to transfer to them?
24. If existing tenants who will be eligible to move into the new homes? What priority must you have to be considered?
We will seek to transfer tenants who are overcrowded, under occupied, or who have medical needs to move as well as those tenants that require adapted properties.
25. What is happening to the Café site?
The Café is due to be demolished and we have planning approval to build eight 1-bedroom houses. Haig expects the Cafe and the house next door to be demolished this
year and the 8 homes to be ready in Spring/ Summer 2017.
26. When will be first of the new homes be built?
That is difficult to predict as a planning application has not yet been submitted. Subject to a timely planning consent we estimate finishing the first phase of new homes in
27. Will there be a phased release of the new homes?
Yes, the café site will be the first available homes and the other homes across the sites are likely to be completed over the following 18 months.
28. What will happen to the homes vacated by the tenants moving to the new homes?
These homes will be re-let to beneficiaries after they have had necessary repairs carried out but we hope to carry out a wholesale refurbishment programme.
29. Who are the project team?
- Developer: Haig Housing Trust
- Programme: Veterans Accommodation Project, Morden Estate
- Schemes: Rhodes Moorhouse Court Gardens & Hill Top Court
- Architect: Haines Phillips Architects
- Project Manager: Red Loft
- Employer’s Agent: Hunters
- Contractor: To be appointed