Wednesday 16 July 2014

South Kilburn regeneration amounts to social cleansing, claim residents and tenants

Developer's perspective & that of residents at odds

A head of steam is building up o the South Kilburn Estate about what residents and tenants see as the 'social cleansing' involved  in the Estate's regeneration.

The motion below was passed at a recent meeting of the Alpha, Gorefield and Canterbury Tenants' and Residents' Association.

We’ve had enough!
Motion to the AGM of Alpha, Gorefield & Canterbury TRA

This meeting notes that regeneration was sold to residents of South Kilburn on the basis that it would provide improved housing and living conditions for all existing residents.

In fact: 

* There are fewer dwellings at social rent than there were before regeneration;

* Some of the new flats are smaller than those they replaced;

* The new flats have been let at higher rents than was the case. 


* Flats are being sold and rented at prices which existing South Kilburn tenants have no chance of affording;

* Luxury flats are being advertised on the Far Eastern market, clearly as an investment, rather than social housing;

* Locked gardens are being created, even though they replace what was common green space. 

This all amounts to a “social cleansing” of South Kilburn, with many residents forced to move to other areas. 

Moreover, we note that in its operations in the developments off Cambridge Avenue, Catalyst and Willmott Dixon have:

*Repeatedly breached the hours they are permitted to work and the times that construction vehicles arrive on site;

* Either reneged on promises to consult residents about aspects of the development, or simply not consulted;

* refused to pay compensation to residents when disrupting utilities:

*repeatedly not enforced their own guidelines for employees’ behaviour in the area;

* not ensured that their operations do not damage local infrastructure, such as blocking drains and damaging road and pavement surfaces. 

We believe this amounts to contempt for residents of the area who have had to put up with severe disruption since development began. The fact that the development is seriously behind means that residents will be expected to put up with this disruption for even longer. 

We therefore: 

1) Call on Brent Council to ensure that in future “regeneration” provides housing at social rents, and not luxury dwellings for investment; 

2) We note that many of the problems we pointed to at the planning stage, such as to the closeness of new to existing buildings (less than 8 metres at some points), have become even more obvious during the construction stage. We therefore call on Brent Council to adopt some basic minimum conditions in future, such as that adopted by Islington Council that residential blocks cannot be closer to each other than 18 metres. 

3) Given the contempt with which Catalyst and Willmott Dixon have treated local residents, we call on Brent Council to refuse to use them in future developments and to publicise the reasons for this; 

4) We call on Brent Council to properly monitor the behaviour of developers and ensure they treat residents with the respect they deserve, something the Council has failed to do to date.


Trevor said...

the use of the Word Regeneration Is Something That is Done in order to Mislead and Give the Public False Hope for The Future.
the leaders of the councils Don't listen to the cries of the people.
That can be seen in the way their Ideas are carried out.
the homes that are built to pack us all into are nothing but havens of torment.
and although I am very glad that at last it seems that the councils are being exposed for what they really are, I am also sad that they have been able to mistreat the people as they have done and continue doing in the name of So called Democracy
which Like the word Regeneration although having a real meaning, we never get to see the real meaning because it is always carried in a way that suits the councils and politicians.
as long as I live I will always Believe that the public deserve so much better than what they get.
I wish I could also persuade as many victims of this cruel greed driven hypocritical system to abandon smoking and gambling.
after all why should you abuse your own bodies?
why should you pay to hurt yourselves?
that is the reality of smoking.
and it also shows how the political leaders have misused their authority by permitting the sale and consumption of cigarettes so that they get what they love more than anything which is money.
yes they have created this system which is driven and motivated by greed.
and although they claim to be on our side, their actions say something completely different.
you cannot claim to be on the side of the public when you allow the public to be exploited by greedy businesses.
so much of what the politicians do is like the contents of refuse bins...rubbish and worthless.
because enough time has passed to show that what we give them and what we get in return isn't good enough and always leaves us wanting and hurt one way or another.

Trevor said...

when will Brent council cease using the word "Regeneration"?
To me that word is inappropriate because as the public are seeing that actually they are being forced to live in smaller flats and also that some of the flats are being made to suit the needs of wealthy people.
and you can be certain that the smaller flats will just be havens of torments once again
since that has been allowed to become the norm in Brent.