Residents of Brent estate vote in favour of council regeneration scheme

Residents of Brent estate vote in favour of council regeneration scheme

Residents of the South Kilburn housing estate in Brent have voted by a large majority in favour of their council’s plans to redevelop their homes in the sixth “yes” outcome ballot out of the six conducted as a condition for receiving funds from Sadiq Khan.

Nearly three-quarters those living in the 1,400-home estate, the largest yet to be balloted under the requirements introduced by the Mayor last year, turned out and 84 per cent of them backed the regeneration scheme, which envisages 2,400 new homes being built on the site, along with new roads and open space.

A wider 15-year regeneration of the South Kilburn area is described by the council as being “almost half way through” with a view to creating a new, socially mixed neighbourhood (image above). The ballot represents a green light for the continuation of the works with City Hall’s help.

Brent is the second borough landlord to conduct and receive a “yes” vote under Mayor Khan’s new rules following Ealing, which received a resounding go-ahead from residents of the smaller High Lane estate last December. The other four ballots have been of housing association estate residents in Lambeth, Barnet, Bromley and Greenwich. A further ballot will be opened by Lewisham Council from Friday.

The Mayor introduced the ballot requirement into his good practice guide to estate regeneration, published last February, having not including the measure in the December 2016 draft version.

Some boroughs and housing associations opposed ballots on the grounds that they could become hijacked by political activists, slow the regeneration process and add to costs, while housing campaigners and some London politicians argued that the consent of a majority of residents for the demolition of their homes should always be secured.

The full effects of the ballot requirement are difficult to gauge, as it is possible that social landlords contemplating regenerations are deterred by it from proceeding with them.

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