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

South Acton estate

Number of homes under threat: 2100

Landlord: Ealing Council

Developer: Countryside Properties

Independent Resident Advisor: PEP

Ballot Status: Exempt

Planning Status: Approved

In Dec 2018, the Mayor approved the demolition of 2,100 homes at Ealing’s South Acton estate with all replacement ‘social’ housing at up to 80% of market rent.

The South Acton estate is Ealing’s and West London’s largest council estate with 2,100 homes spanning 25 hectares of land. These are accommodated in a range of principally medium to high rise blocks. The estate also provides shops, a youth club, a community centre, a nursery, school buildings and open space. One of the blocks on the estate, Harlech Tower is well known as the backdrop for the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses.

In 2013 Ealing Council signed a development agreement transferring the estate in phases to a joint venture between Cataylst Housing Association and developer Countryside Properties.

The estate is well served by transport links with nearby Acton Town, a major interchange for the District and Piccadilly lines, with links to Heathrow and the West End is on the western boundary. On the southern boundary is South Acton railway station, a London Overground station running north through to Stratford and south to Richmond.

In Dec 2018, the Mayor approved the revised masterplan for the South Acton estate, with replacement ‘social’ housing to be provided at social rent or London Affordable Rent affordable rent, but in fact the social housing can be let at up to 80% market rent.

Shortly afterwards, the Mayor allocated funding to the scheme and exempted it from his requirement to ballot residents on the demolition of their homes.

Planning permission was subsequently granted for 2,350 new homes of which 796 will be social rent, albeit the planning consent’s Section 106 legal agreement defines ‘social rent’ as anything up to 80% market rent:

19 blocks were demolished in the first phase of the scheme and replacement homes are currently under construction. In 2018, Countryside and L&Q applied for a variation of the planning consent to increase the number of homes in subsequent phases to provide a total of 3,448 new homes in total.

The variation of the planning consent resulted in a variation to the s106 agreement’s definition of social rent which now appears to provide a choice between the provision of affordable rent of up to 80% market rent or the Mayor’s new London Affordable Rent tenure:

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.


Mayor’s planning report for the 2018 revised masterplan:

Ealing’s planning documents for the original 2013 masterplan (first phase):

Ealing’s planning documents for the revised 2018 masterplan:

Have we missed something? Help us keep this resource up to date by leaving a comment below.↓


Have we missed anything or got it wrong? help us keep keep this resource up to date by getting in touch at or by leaving a comment below.

I used to look out for the red, blue and yellow blocks on my journey to Acton town on the Piccadilly Line. Having returned recently I notice only the yellow remains- the magnificent Jerome Tower. What were the names of the red and blue blocks and are there photos of them? Very sad for the residents. i’m lucky mine is only a fond memory, not the shocking sell-out of a Labour Mayor. oh dear. At least in Hammersmith and Fulham estates were saved.