South Acton Estate

MQT on 2016-05-25
Session date: 
May 25, 2016
Question By: 
David Kurten
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Many of the residents of South Acton Estate feel they have been given a raw deal by Ealing Council and the developers who are re-generating their estate. Will the Mayor use his influence to ensure that tenants are given an equivalent home in the re-generated estate without having to jump through numerous hoops, and that leaseholders are compensated adequately so that they can afford to purchase an equivalent home at market rates in the re-generated estate and are not forced to move out of London due to the terms of their compulsory purchase orders?


Answer for South Acton Estate

Answer for South Acton Estate

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you, Mr Chairman.  Congratulations to Assembly Member Kurten.  Some of you who were not at the various hustings will not realise this, but I grew up on a council estate.  As someone who grew up on a council estate, I fully understand concerns about regeneration.  I intend to develop a common set of principles with London’s boroughs and housing associations that I hope will begin to earn the trust of local residents. 


In this particular case my understanding is that the estate was clearly not fit for purpose.  I believe that many of the blocks in the South Acton Estate had reached the end of their lifespan and before the comprehensive masterplan was adopted there had been a series of aborted standalone regeneration schemes, going back to 1999.  My understanding is that social housing tenants with secure tenancies, who decided to return to the estate, are being offered homes with rents at equivalent levels.  I understand that the 360 leaseholders have been offered the option of either owning a new property on the estate, through a shared equity lease, or being offered full market value for their current property with an additional 10% compensation.  The borough is confident that this arrangement provides a route for all residents, who wish to do so, to remain living in this area.  As I set out in my manifesto, I will require that estate regeneration only takes place where there is resident support. 


David Kurten AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor, for your answer.  I do appreciate that you are committed to seeing there is justice for council estate tenants and leaseholders where there is regeneration.  In this case, Peter [Peter Whittle AM] and I went to a residents’ meeting in March 2016.  There was another residents’ meeting earlier this month.  What the residents say to me is they feel is that at the initial stages the regeneration scheme sounded fantastic.  All the tenants and leaseholders on the estate would get a really good deal out of the regeneration.  The tenants would be able to come back and get an equivalent flat, and leaseholders would be compensated to the full value of the homes that they lived in.  At the moment there is a lot of anger and fear on the estate.  What I am being told by some of the tenants there is that they are being pushed out to live temporarily outside Ealing borough, in some cases outside London as well, with no guarantee or firm promise of return.


Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  Do you have a question?


David Kurten AM:  Yes.  Leaseholders as well feel they are not being properly compensated and they will not be able to afford to live in the area they come from and be able to afford a new flat in the estate.  What can you do to make sure that all the leaseholders and tenants actually do get an equivalent flat in the estate after it has been regenerated and are not forced out of London?  I can give you the names of people who are going to have the bailiffs coming around next Friday with compulsory purchase orders. 


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Thank you, Assembly Member Kurten.  My understanding, Chairman, is that the estate regeneration scheme is being delivered by Acton Gardens LLP, a joint venture between L&Q Housing Association and Countryside Properties.  They were selected by the Council and the residents in 2010.  I am not certain that I have any powers to interfere in what is happening in this scheme.


What I can do is to make clear what my intention is going forward.  I have set out in my manifesto - and I am happy to send you a copy of the relevant section in relation to this - what my expectation is going forward.  I am sure you will appreciate that what I cannot do is retrospectively untangle what is a long-standing scheme in this part of London.


David Kurten AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor.