Difficult to let Mansfield flats to be demolished in £2.85 million scheme

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A difficult to let sheltered housing complex is set to be demolished and residents rehoused at a total cost of around £2.85 million.

The authority is being asked to support a recommendation to demolish and rebuild Melville Court at Meden Vale and to support residents there in moving as the work is carried out.

The cost of the rebuilding will be £2.6 million and the support package will cost the authority £250,000, which has to be approved by the full council.

The portfolio holder for housing approved the recommendation at a meeting on Wednesday (August 1).

Over many years and particularly the last four the Council has tried extensively to allocate the flats in Melville Court, the report states.

Since 2014 flats have been advertised 150 times but only eight flats have been let during this period.

There are currently 16 flats empty with the average cumulative time of flats being unoccupied in Melville Court totalling three years.

The report adds: “The residents of Meden Vale, including tenants of Melville Court, have a good community spirit and want to remain in their area but unfortunately Melville Court is not the type of scheme that is attracting people to live there.

“Given the difficulties that the Council has had in respect of maintaining full occupancy levels of the scheme the preferred option is to demolish the complex and re-develop the site bringing some new build into the community.

The total cost to demolish the complex and re-develop the site with 13 properties (which could be a mix of houses and bungalows) and create a new detached community centre is around £2.6m. This option still allows for the retention of the privately-owned property attached to the complex.

The current rent loss for Melville Court is £163,897 and the Council Tax liability is in the region of £45,000. These figures will continue to increase until a sustainable and viable option for the scheme is agreed and developed.

Given the nature of the work involved and the vulnerability of the residents, it would not be possible for any residents to remain in their properties during the works, and each household would need to be decanted during this period.

Each household has been supported to complete a Homefinder application, to enable the Council to look at where they would like to live, whether the move is temporary or permanent, along with who provides their support, whether they wanted to be near other residents currently living at Melville Court and what adaptations were required.