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Housing Demolition plans will need backing of tenants

RESIDENTS of council estates in London will be able to vote on any plans to demolish their homes under proposals announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan today.

Ballots will apply to any schemes funded by the mayor which involve the construction of 150 or more homes and the demolition of existing ones, says City Hall’s first-ever “estate regeneration” good practice guide.

Released today, the Better Homes for Local People guide seeks to give tenants a greater say in decisions affecting the future of their homes. It would mean all schemes with mayoral funding would need the support of a majority of residents before the funding could be approved.

Launching the proposals on a housing estate in Barnet, north London, Mr Khan said: “We need more social housing in London, not less, which is why I will use all my powers to make sure that any plans for estate regeneration protect existing social housing and take every opportunity to build more.

“I want to make sure people living on social housing estates, who have the greatest interest in their future, are at the heart of any decisions from the outset.

“By involving residents and putting social housing first, we can make sure plans for estate regeneration help build a city for all Londoners.”

The proposals follow repeated calls by Green London Assembly Member Sian Berry, whose motion proposing ballots for residents where schemes involved demolition was unanimously supported by London Assembly members in December.

She said that Mr Khan had been “slow” to issue the new guidance but welcomed that he had “finally seen sense” and offered residents a say in any plans to demolish and rebuild their estate.

Ms Berry added: “It’s only fair that, if your home faces demolition, you can vote against bad plans.

“Councils and developers who have engaged residents from the very start of drawing up plans would have nothing to fear.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who joined Mr Khan in Barnet, said: “Regeneration must put local people first not property speculators.

“Labour is committed to giving residents the right to a ballot across the country so that, when we’re in government, we can deliver real regeneration for the many not the few.”

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