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Tustin estate, Southwark

298 homes are earmarked for demolition on Southwark's Tustin estate on the Old Kent Road.

In March 2017, a council briefing report disclosed that 'there are initial plans being led by Regeneration for the overall development of the Tustin Estate, which would involve large scale demolition of the majority of the estate'. (para 4)

Two years later, in June 2019 the Council started consulting residents on 'options' for the estate.

In October 2020, residents were 'polled' on their preference for 1 of 5 options for the estate.

Option 1 was termed the 'do nothing' option which said 'If you want things to stay as they are now, with no new homes, then you should choose this option .. The council will have to look at what it can afford to do in order to repair and look after the block and home you have now.'

Options 3 to 5 were a mix of infill, partial redevelopment or full demolition and redevelopment (option 4).

Of the 55% of residents eligible to take part in the survey, 49% voted for option 4 (full demolition).

This then became the 'preferred option' and it was put to a ballot in March 2021, in which residents would vote for full redevelopment or 'do nothing'. The ballot resulted in 64% of eligible residents voting, with 86% of these voting yes.

At no point during the consultation, survey or ballot process were residents offered the option of refurbishment of their homes.

Southwark Council will now progress plans to build between 800 and 850 new homes, which include replacement of the existing 298 homes. It says that half of the additional new homes will be for council tenants and the remainder will be for open market sale.

The summary of the council's viability assessment that it commissioned for the scheme, shows that the estimated cost of the scheme is £303m, of which it will recoup around 50% in grant funding and sales revenue from the private flats when they are completed.

This remaining £153.8m therefore represents the cost of replacing the existing Council homes and providing 249 extra council homes.

In April 2020, Southwark commissioned a stock condition survey for the low-rise blocks on the estate. It estimated that the cost of refurbishing the homes to Decent Homes Standard, replacing kitchens and bathrooms and making some minor improvements to external areas would amount to £33m over thirty years (approx £3.5k per home per year).

There has been no cost/benefit analysis comparing demolition to refurbishment. Neither has consideration been given to the fact that government funding is available for refurbishment.

A planning application was approved in July 2022 for 690 new homes - 68% of which will be affordable, including a mix of council rent, shared ownership, key worker accommodation and homes for people aged over 55.


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