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Gascoigne estate, Barking & Dagenham

In Dec 2018, the Mayor approved the demolition of 179 homes on the latest phase of Barking & Dagenham's Gascoigne estate regeneration, to be replaced by 850 new homes of which 78 at 'London Affordabe Rent' (defined as up to 80% market rent). Leaseholders have the 'right to return' only if they can afford to pay the rent in one of the new shared-ownership flats.

The Mayor's planning report approves the demolition of 179 homes on this latest phase of the scheme, Gascoigne estate West - the east side of the estate having been approved for demolition in September 2015.

This is despite the Mayor's own estate regeneration policy requiring no net loss of social rented housing. Indeed, the replacement 'social' housing is all 'London Affordable Rent' which is defined in the planning consent's section 106 legal agreement as up to 80% market rent.

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These replacement 'affordable' homes have been funded by the Mayor and the estate was exempted by the Mayor from his requirement to ballot residents on the demolition of their homes.

Planning application documents confirm that tenants have been offered the 'right to return' to new homes on the estate, but acknowledge that (because the estate is being redeveloped by the Council's new Housing Company) the terms and rent levels of new tenancies would differ from those that tenants currently enjoy:

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Completed in 1971, the estate is divided into Gascoigne East and Gascoigne West by a main road running through the middle of the estate. The original estate had 2,260 homes across both the East and West sites, all of which are to be demolished. The planning application for the demolition of Gascoigne East was approved by the GLA in September 2015, planning for Gascoigne West was approved by the GLA in December 2018. The first phase of the redevelopment of Gascoigne East was completed in 2019, its full completion date is expected to be 2024. Work on phase 1 of Gascoigne West started with demolition in January 2020.

Barking and Dagenham Council only offers an option of shared ownership for leaseholders who want to return to the estate - i.e. paying rent on the unowned share.

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This goes against the legal “principle of equivalence” which says that persons affected by compulsory purchase should be no worse off in financial terms after the acquisition.

Similarly unfair policies were deemed unlawful by the Secretary of State at the 2015 Aylesbury estate CPO inquiry and required Southwark to amend its policy.

Links: Mayor's stage 1 and 2 reports

Planning consent's section 106 agreement

(Photo credits: Andrew Brown)