Thursday 21 December 2017

London Assembly: Residents should have final say and ballot on estate regeneration

The London Assembly is asking the Mayor to hear Londoner’s voices and give them more power to decide where and when regeneration should take place in their areas.

A motion, agreed today, called on the Mayor to include this commitment in his final Good Practice Guide, urging him to make London a place where neighbourhoods are designed to answer communities’ needs.

Sian Berry AM, who proposed the motion, said:
The Assembly has called today for something all estate residents should have: a final say on what will happen to their homes and communities.

 Full consultation is vital and a ballot over any major plan to remodel their estates is the only way to make sure councils and housing associations don’t fudge these processes.

The Mayor’s commitment that ‘estate regeneration only takes place where there is resident support, based on full and transparent consultation’ was clear and we are calling now for him to keep his promise to Londoners.

 Tom Copley AM, who seconded the motion, said:
I’m pleased that the Mayor is insisting that there must be no net loss of social housing on estate regeneration schemes in his draft Good Practice Guide. However, I want him to go further by including ballots of residents whose homes face demolition. Balloting is a vital way of ensuring residents have a meaningful say over future plans for their homes and is the best way to ensure a regeneration scheme has legitimacy.

Wherever demolition is an option, there must be a commitment to balloting residents, particularly where a sizeable number of residents have made a request for a ballot.

Through his Good Practice Guide, we now want to see the Mayor working with community groups to develop detailed guidance about a host of issues, such as when ballots take place, who participates and how differences in opinions between residents may be resolved.

The full text of the Motion is:
This Assembly notes that the Mayor’s Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration is due to be published soon which will set out key principles to be followed in estate regeneration projects.

This Assembly also notes the Mayor’s manifesto commitment that estate regeneration only takes place where there is resident support, based on full and transparent consultation.

This Assembly believes that a final say for residents is an important way to ensure that resident involvement in plans for their homes is done in a meaningful way throughout the process.

This Assembly therefore urges the Mayor to recommend in his final Good Practice Guide that ballots are used on all schemes where demolition is an option or to include clear guidance that ballots will be guaranteed where a proportion of residents ask for it. Ballots should extend to private renters from non-resident leaseholders and freeholders on estates.
See this photographic essay for an example of an estate that is due to be regenerated LINK

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