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Keeping up to date with the latest news on estate regeneration in London.

April 2021 Bulletin

Douglas Bader Park estate - Mayor signals his approval

The Mayor has published his ‘stage 1’ planning report giving in principle approval to the redevelopment of Barnet’s Douglas Bader Park estate.

The estate is owned by housing association ‘Home Group’, which is one of the Mayor’s strategic partners in receipt of £46m GLA funding for agreeing to provide at least 60% affordable housing across its pipeline (see para 3.17 of the Mayor’s funding guidance for more info).

The Mayor’s report confirms that the estate’s 271 existing homes will be replaced by 753 new homes of which 272 will be affordable in a mix of social rent and London Affordable Rent. While it praises the ‘like for like replacement of social rent accommodation’, it conflates social rent with London Affordable Rent and is silent on the application’s failure to meet the Mayor’s minimum 50% affordable housing requirement for estate regenerations.

The Mayor’s report is also silent on how the affordable housing offer (28% by unit/40% by habitable room) complies with the strategic partnership commitment of 60% affordable housing.

Neither does it say anything about the Mayor’s requirement to show that alternatives to demolition have been properly considered. It is therefore impossible to know whether the tens of millions of pounds of Mayoral funding might be better spent elsewhere, building new social rented homes rather than replacements.

You can view the Mayor’s report online here or view the full planning application documents on Barnet’s planning portal here

Barnet has also failed to publish the viability assessment for the application so it is impossible to know whether the maximum amount of affordable housing is being 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.

Marian Court - residents left in limbo

Hackney Council came under fire in February after bulldozers started demolishing one of the Marian Court blocks with a family still living in one of the flats.

Meanwhile, remaining residents on Lambeth’s South Lambeth estate have complained about ongoing disturbance from demolition works on their estate.

Lambeth Council’s Cabinet received an update on its estate regeneration programme last week. The report to Cabinet showed that estimated costs of redeveloping the six estates in its pipeline had increased to £256m.

The update also showed that 576 secure tenants and 295 leaseholders remain to be re-housed/bought out, stating that “it is likely that CPO’s will be pursued on sections of both the Westbury and South Lambeth estates during the next 12 months.”

Lansbury (South) estate - CPO served

Tower Hamlets has served a Compulsory Purchase Order on the 56 remaining retailers and 16 remaining leaseholders on the Lansbury estate, so that Poplar HARCA and Telford Homes can proceed with their Chrisp Street redevelopment.

The scheme will provide 643 new homes, of which 163 will be replacement ‘social’ housing units built with £13m of Mayoral funding and provided as London Affordable Rent. This is one of the numerous estate redevelopment schemes that the Mayor exempted from his requirement to ballot residents on the demolition of their homes.

The affected residents and retailers have been given until 1st April to object to the CPO, which may be subject to a public inquiry if the Secretary of State decides the objections should be given a hearing.

The Council has published the Compulsory Purchase Order and supporting documents on its website here.

We are currently working on creating a general guide to the CPO process for residents on estates under threat - watch this space!

Church Street Area estates - Council under fire

Westminster Council has come under fire after it was reported that retailers had been served with notices to quit in the next phase of the Council’s redevelopment of the Church Street area estates.

The Council plans to demolish 432 homes and 30 retail units in the next phase of its scheme. Among these is a pharmacist who says the redevelopment could put him out of business after being part of the local community for 40 years.

More ballot results

Three more estate ballots have come back with YES votes for demolition, including Charlton House in Hounslow, the Barnsbury estate in Islington and the Tustin estate in Southwark.

As has become common practice, residents are faced with the binary choice of new homes or ongoing neglect - refurbishment is never an option.

South Kilburn estate Community Plan

A presentation of the South Kilburn Community Plan is now available to view online: https://youtu.be/I8YKW0fIqfM

UCL Bartlett’s Dr Pablo Sendra is currently working with residents on the South Kilburn estate to create an alternative community-led plan, which satisfies the Council’s regeneration objectives while retaining the estate’s existing buildings.

You can also read a summary of the plan here or the full report here.

Estate Watch Zoom meeting

The next Zoom meeting is scheduled for Friday 16th April at 2pm. Please email info@londontenants.org to request attendance and further details.

NB. Estate Watch meetings are exclusively for tenants and leaseholders of estates that are under threat of demolition, have managed to stave off demolition or whose estates are currently being demolished.