South Kilburn Estate residents have “had enough” of Brent’s regeneration plans

Last night the Alpha, Gorefield and Canterbury Tenants and Residents’ Association passed the following motion at their Annual General Meeting:

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.

Mould and damp damage on the "Kilburn Park" new builds at Chase House, Hansel Road/Carlton Vale, April 2014.

Mould and damp damage on the “Kilburn Park” new builds at Chase House, Hansel Road/Carlton Vale, April 2014.

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.
Rather:
* 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.

Catalyst Hoarding in Cambridge Road; they have "contempt for residents who have had to put up with severe disruption" says TRA

Catalyst Hoarding in Cambridge Road; they have “contempt for residents who have had to put up with severe disruption” says TRA

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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: