Newham Council’s plans for Carpenters Estate demolition challenged in draft Neighbourhood Plan

Press release 17 November 2017

 

Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood Forum has published its draft Neighbourhood Plan, which is open for consultation until 18th December.(1)

The officially designated Forum has quietly beavered away for over two years to produce a plan, which, if adopted by the LLDC, will require any developer to adhere to its policies. Under the Localism Act, it has listed assets of community value in the area, like green space, a primary school, pub, shop and community centre.

The Forum has an impressive list of groups that have helped them develop their Plan and provided technical support, including UCL, Max Fordham and AECOM.(2)

The Forum was included as a case study in the London Mayor’s draft good practice guidance on estate regeneration.(3) However, while the Forum has encouraged Newham Council to work positively with them to develop a viable community-developed Plan, this has not been achieved.(4)

The Plan unashamedly sets out policies to support the community of the Carpenters Estate who have lived with the threat of demolition for years.

Notably it seeks refurbishment of existing homes with some ‘sensitive infill of new homes’. It seeks to better link the estate with the surrounding area, with strong protection and improvement of its green, play and community facilities. New developments around are lacking in these, so they are precious to a wider area which is crowded with towers. Ambitious proposals relate to economy, education and employment, including retention of vital employment space, development of a Neighbourhood Education Partnership and a new Centre for Learning Support.

Janiz Murray, Forum secretary and a Carpenters Estate tenant, said ‘We’ve had years of fearing demolition of our homes and loss of our strong and supportive community. Many have suffered poor health as a result. Thankfully our neighbours value the resources on our estate and have actively supported the development of the Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood Plan.’

‘Let’s not forget, there was a promise of benefit for less well-off communities as part of the Olympics. Our draft Neighbourhood Plan sets out policies that would positively achieve this.’

 


Notes:

  1. Link to the draft Neighbourhood Plan, supporting documents, consultation surveys and information on responding to the consultation
  2. Max Fordham are renowned building services engineers with a key focus on environmental sustainability. Their work with the Forum was financially supported by UCL’s Engineering Exchange. AECOM is the principle subcontractor for Locality’s Neighbourhood Planning programme (funded by DCLG). They are a multi-national engineering firm – providing professional and technical services relating to design, build and finance.
  3. London Mayor’s draft Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration (case study 4 page 16)
  4. Newham Council plans to demolish Carpenters Estate and build 3,000 new homes (quadruple the existing number). They advertised in August for a private sector joint partner to develop the estate. Previous plans included demolition of the estate and development of a UCL campus. This fell through in 2013 in face of strong resident opposition.