News from Sian Berry: Mayor’s guidance won’t stop estate demolitions

08 March 2017

Mayor’s manifesto pledge to estate residents will be broken unless his estate guidance is rewritten, says Sian Berry AM.

The Mayor’s draft ‘good practice guide to estate regeneration’ for councils and landlords on how to handle estate regeneration is out for consultation until March 14. [1]

Sian Berry said:

“The draft guidance is worse than useless – it rips up the Mayor's manifesto promise that 'estate regeneration only takes place where there is resident support' and does nothing to ensure residents on estates can block demolition of their homes. [2]

“The language in the draft guidance is vague and it is unclear what, if any, conditions will be imposed on how councils and landlords to qualify for funding or the Mayor’s support for planning applications.

“Most importantly for residents, it does not let them make the final decisions for their estates with an independent ballot. How can they trust any part of the engagement process when they know their views and plans can be completely ignored at the end?

“The guidance needs to be rewritten from scratch, working with Londoners to get it right.”

Sian Berry has written a response to the draft guidance [3] that outlines three key demands on the Mayor:

1. No demolitions without an independent ballot
2. Clear conditions for councils to meet, or no GLA funding
3. Expert support for resident-led plans

Sian’s response also asks for full transparency on the current state of estates, and on all aspects of the business case, social and environmental impacts of council’s plans.

The final guidance also needs to set measurable goals so the Mayor can be held to account, including goals to reduce the number of homes demolished and for a number of resident-led plans to be adopted.

The Mayor’s manifesto policy and promise to estate residents was that he would:

“Require that estate regeneration only takes place where there is resident support, based on full and transparent consultation, and that demolition is only permitted where it does not result in a loss of social housing, or where other all options have been exhausted, with full rights to return for displaced tenants and a fair deal for leaseholders.”

Notes to editors

[1] Mayor’s draft good practice guide to estate regeneration https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/draftgoodpracticeestateregenerationguidedec16v2.pdf

[2] ‘Sadiq Khan for London – A Manifesto for all Londoners’ http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/themes/569cb9526a21db3279000001/attachments/original/1457451016/x160668_Sadiq_Khan_Manifesto.pdf?1457451016

[3] Response to the Mayor’s draft Estate Regeneration Best Practice Guidance, Sian Berry https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/final_estate_guidance_resp...