Woodberry Down estate regeneration film: partnerships in progress

Woodberry Down estate regeneration film: partnerships in progress

Last week, Hackney Council gave planning consent for phase three of the long regeneration of the huge Woodberry Down estate in Manor House. The project, which is being undertaken by Berkeley Homes along with Notting Hill Genesis housing association, has been the subject of some quite atrocious journalism in the past: the sort that ignores those parts of a complex and evolving picture that don’t conform to the ideological prejudices of the supposed reporter.

Every regeneration scheme is different. Not all have been done well, and each one has many dimensions to it. A feature of the Woodberry Down process has been the evolution of the relationships between the various interested parties, perhaps most notably the developer and the organisation representing estate residents. The On London mini-documentary embedded below is an attempt to tell part of that story and to draw out the lessons from it.

The film was edited and mostly shot by Max Curwen-Bingley. The interview with Tony Pidgley was filmed by Suhail Patel. The script, narration, interviews and some of the estate footage is the work of me, Dave Hill. Huge thanks to everyone who appears in the film and helped it to come about.

Watch On London’s documentary about the regeneration of the Aylesbury estate in Southwark here.

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Categories: Analysis

1 Comment

  1. Lesley Benson says:

    This planning application was contested by local residents, who have been trying through the partnership mechanisms to retain a 150 year old London Plane street tree that no-one (including all the partners) realised until November 2019 was in the envelope for this phase, and is deemed to need felling. The argument has been that it was on plans submitted for all versions of the masterplan. But NO-ONE noticed this tree on these plans, and there was no baked-in presumption in favour of retaining magnificent mature trees within the development. This tree is part of a long line of tree destruction on the estate, replaced by manicured landscaping that will take decades, a lifetime, to replace what has been lost.

    Local people are rallying round the tree, and a petition has already reached 15,000 names. Local school children have switched from a project on the destruction of the rainforest, to the destruction of a tree they know and have come to love.

    Re-design solutions were explored, but have been deemed too expensive or causing undue delay. Only two social rented homes would be lost, and 22 shared ownership, but these could be re-provided if the legal agreement did not give the developer 20% profit in every phase.


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