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This latest announcement is absolutely in-line with our Partnerships strategy and is something we welcome for two main reasons. First, this policy offers great potential for improving the quality of life of many residents of existing estates, who suffer through no fault of their own from poorly designed housing and remoteness from high-quality social facilities, by ensuring they have homes on the new development. Second, because we know the potential of estate regeneration to significantly increase the supply of all tenures of housing, thereby creating more economically diverse communities, and to renew worn out social infrastructure, particularly in London and the South East.
Indeed, the Savills report to government, which accompanied the PM’s announcement, has identified that an additional 50,000 homes per annum are needed in London over the next 20 years and that the regeneration of local authority housing estates in London has the potential to provide up to 360,000 additional new homes on existing sites.
We are very confident that with the right approach this initiative will build on the success of other regeneration projects. Countryside has 30 years’ experience in local authority estate regeneration during which time it has successfully delivered more than 45 regeneration projects. One such project was the Peckham Partnership, where we not only replaced five of Southwark Council’s most unpopular housing estates with a thriving new, mixed-tenure community, but also in the process provided the catalyst for the regeneration of the wider Peckham neighbourhood.
Similarly, in Acton Gardens, we are partnering with Ealing Council, L&Q and local residents to replace the existing 1,800 predominantly social rent homes on the South Acton Estate with 2,850 new homes for affordable rent, shared ownership, market sale and market rent. It is testimony to the positive impact we are having that before we started, 80% of existing residents wanted to leave the estate. Now, less than two years later, 80% of those existing residents want to stay.
At Countryside we are very keen not only to take part in this new initiative, but also to share our expertise and experience with other local authorities across the country. As such we have offered our support to Lord Heseltine, who will chair a new Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel.
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