Pause in Alton Estate Demolition to Allow for More Social Housing

New administration says there wasn't enough in original plan

Alton Estate, Roehampton. Picture: LDR Sian Bayley


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Plans to bulldoze council homes in Roehampton will be put on pause under proposals to review an estate revamp so it offers more affordable housing. Wandsworth Council’s new Labour administration said the number of council homes previously proposed for the Alton Estate in Roehampton is “simply not enough”.

A report to the council’s housing committee recommends the authority stop looking for a partner to deliver the current plans for the estate and review other options to improve “the lives of the people that live there”. This “removes any immediate prospect of demolition” for homes set to be knocked down, according to the report.

Plans to demolish 288 homes on the estate for 1,108 homes were green-lit by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in January, including 261 affordable homes and new community facilities. Following separate planning applications, 10 homes have been completed at McKinney House and 14 are being built at Fontley Way.

But the plans are set to be reviewed after Labour gained control of the council from the Conservatives for the first time in 44 years in May.

Labour councillor Aydin Dikerdem said in a statement to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, “The Wandsworth Labour group has always been worried about the nature of the proposed regeneration plans, particularly around the proportion of council housing when compared to private housing in the scheme – only 18.6 per cent on council rents out of over a thousand new homes.

“We are absolutely committed to investing in and improving the estate, but we are going to review the proposed outcomes for this investment and explore the options available to us. We are therefore ending the current procurement on the original masterplan.

“To show our commitment to improving the estate, we will ask council staff to explore options to bring forward Block A, the former Co-op on Danebury Avenue, as an early phase to deliver new community facilities and new council homes. We are also going to bring forward an improvements strategy, to ensure investment in youth spaces and development sites continues while we investigate alternative proposals.”

When the Local Democracy Reporting Service visited the estate in June, residents called for improvements to current homes on the estate. They said they wanted better community facilities and raised concerns about lifts “always breaking down”.

The report says nothing is ruled in or out for the estate at this stage. The council’s executive committee will decide on the recommendations on September 26. Options for the estate’s future will be brought to the committee at a future meeting if approved.

Charlotte Lilywhite - Local Democracy Reporter

September 8, 2022

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