Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Update: Council issues regeneration 'commitment' to existing residents

© Paul Coleman, London Intelligence 2015

Earl's Court 'regeneration'

On 16 February, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea issues a ‘commitment to tenants and leaseholders’.
In a statement, the Council says: ‘Essentially, Kensington and Chelsea will only redevelop a Council estate if it is possible to rehouse all existing tenants in better homes in the new development or in the nearby area (unless, of course, they choose to move elsewhere).’

The statement continues: ‘In addition the Council will try to offer all resident leaseholders on such an estate access to a shared equity scheme of the kind being piloted at Pembroke Road, to enable them to buy a home in a new development, even if it is worth more than their original home.'

The Council says the principles are being applied to its planned redevelopment of its Pembroke Road offices.
The statement adds: ‘This offer will depend on the viability of each regeneration project, but would also be in addition to all statutory compensation and disturbance allowances.'

'These new commitments mean that existing communities would be kept together if and when regeneration projects go ahead, rather than being displaced and dispersed as happened in some historic examples.’
Tenants and residents have strongly opposed the demolition and developer-led ‘regeneration’ of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green council estates at Earl’s Court.

Aylesbury Estate occupation

Protestors against Southwark Council’s demolition and Notting Hill Housing’s ‘regeneration’ of the Aylesbury Estate in south London report that the Council has secured a legal order to end the protestors’ occupation of the estate’s emptied Chartridge block.
Later, at 5pm (17 February), protestors plan to picket local Labour MP Harriet Harman at her regular constituency surgery at Walworth Methodist Church. 
They want Harman to oppose Southwark Council and Notting Hill Housing’s ‘regeneration’ plan to demolish and redevelop the 2,704-home estate.

Plan for '11,000 new council homes'

Meanwhile, the Council's New Southwark Plan, including the promise to 'build 11,000 new council homes over the next 30 years',  comes under scrutiny at an Elephant Amenity Network meeting.
Housing department officers Alison Squires and Ebony Riddell-Bamber are due to make presentations about the Council’s housing policies to the EAN, a group of tenants, residents and traders who campaign for ‘regeneration’ more directly beneficial to the existing local population.
The Elephant Amenity Network meeting starts at 6.30pm, Tuesday 17 February, at Crossway Church, 100 New Kent Road, Elephant and Castle SE1 6TU.

Segregation of council tenants from private residents

Members of the City of London Corporation say they will oppose Berkeley Homes and Southwark Council’s plan to stop tenants of a new council block from sharing the same garden as owners of adjacent £15 million penthouses.
James Hatts, of the London SE1 community website, reports (13 February) that Southwark Council and Berkeley Homes seem to want to reverse plans, originally approved in 2011, to allow 43 Horace Jones House council tenants to share access to courtyard podium gardens with purchasers of luxury One Tower Bridge apartments.
This is the latest example of local London politicians believed to be siding with developers to segregate affluent private homebuyers from average and lower income council tenants.

© Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, February 2015

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