HIGH LANE ESTATE

Over 100 council and housing association estates across London are under threat of demolition. Our research shows where they are.

High Lane estate

Number of homes under threat: 264

Landlord: Ealing Council

Developer: Rydon

Ballot Status: Approved

Planning Status: Approved

264 homes are earmarked for demolition on Ealing’s High Lane estate in Hanwell.

Located near the river Brent and Brent Valley Park, the estate comprises 264 homes in a mixture of two bed maisonettes and three bed flats, of which 51 households are leasehold owned.

In 2017, Ealing Council resolved to enter into a joint venture agreement with developer Rydon for the redevelopment of the estate.

In order to qualify for Mayoral funding, a ballot was held at the end of 2018 and the majority of those voting voted in favour of the council’s proposals.

In January 2021, Ealing’s development partner Rydon submitted a planning application. The application proposes demolition of all 264 homes on the High Lane estate and replacement with 505 homes, of which just 142 social rent.

The planning application’s supporting documents say that these will be let as council homes, but they will incur a ‘new build supplement’ of £20pw above the Council’s current social rent levels.

The application also proposes 75 homes at London Affordable Rent and 10 shared equity homes (for the estate’s 51 leaseholders..) and 278 private market homes.

We note that the proposed tenure mix is different from the tenure mix presented in Ealing’s formal Landlord Offer to residents at the time of the ballot, with an extra 44 homes proposed in total, most of which (36) are private sale units.

This raises a question about the integrity of the Mayor’s ballot requirement. The Mayor’s policy on ballots is clear that he may terminate funding for schemes, which have deviated from the original tenure mix that residents were balloted on (see para 8.7.3). It remains to be seen whether the Mayor will pick this up or take any action.

As with the estate demolition applications submitted before Christmas, this application fails to comply with the Mayor’s requirement to explore alternatives to demolition. It is therefore impossible to know whether the £23M that Ealing Council is spending on the scheme would be better spent on refurbishment - (see para 3.4.7 of this Council report for scheme costs.

Rydon has also failed to publish its viability assessment for the application so it is impossible to know whether the maximum amount of affordable housing is beieng provided. Since 2018, making viability assessments public has been another one of the Mayor’s policy requirements which is being routinely ignored by developers and local authorities.

You can view the planning application documents on Ealing’s planning portal here.

The Mayor’s stage 1 planning report giving ‘in principle’ approval to the scheme is available on the GLA planning portal here: https://gla.force.com/pr/s/planning-application/a0i4J000002V7cwQAC/20210031?tabset-c2f3b=2

Ealing says that tenants will have a right to return to the redeveloped estate and leaseholders too. But the small print in Ealing’s shared equity offer to leaseholders requires them to invest their personal savings and take out a mortgage if they want to take up the offer (see para 2.2). This was deemed unlawful by the Secretary of State at the 2015 Aylesbury estate CPO inquiry and required Southwark to amend its policy.

Links:
Ealing Council website - https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201104/housing_regeneration/2346/high_lane_estate/1

Mayor’s stage 1 and 2 reports - https://gla.force.com/pr/s/planning-application/a0i4J000002V7cwQAC/20210031?tabset-c2f3b=2


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