BWTUC welcome Clarion Housing decision to cancel demolition proposal of Sutton Estate in Chelsea after campaign by residents and unions. We salute the residents of the Sutton Estate in their fight to retain social housing in Chelsea, says BWTUC.
BWTUC welcome Clarion Housing’s decision to cancel their demolition of the estate and the destruction of the community housed in the affordable social homes on the William Sutton Estate in Chelsea. The residents campaigned for over ten years. They were led by Ian Henderson a delegate to Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Union Council. They were supported by the residents of other London estates facing demolition organized in Demolition Watch London.
BWTUC and unions like GMB campaigned against this development as a blatant case of asset stripping and social cleansing in this wealthy borough. See notes to editors for the previous GMB press releases on this.
A report from Inside Housing (4 May) has said Clarion has gone back on proposals to demolish 383 flats in the estate. The announcement comes six months after the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, rejected Clarion’s proposals to demolish the flats due to there being a significant loss of social housing.
Clarion have instead said that they intend to carry out improvements to most of the homes in the estate and bring the empty properties back into use.
BWTUC have been involved in the campaign to save the Sutton estate over the last 5 years and continue to fight for all residents on estates facing demolition to be balloted on any plans, before they are allowed to continue.
Spencer Barnshaw BWTUC Secretary, said:
“BWTUC welcome the Clarion’s decision to cancel their plan to demolish the William Sutton Estate in Chelsea. This would have led to the loss of social housing for rent at genuinely affordable rents for lower paid workers in this wealthy borough. It would have led to the destruction of the community housed in Chelsea in this estate built especially for lower paid workers such as them.
BWTUC had previously branded this development a blatant case of asset stripping.
“Clarion must not forget the primary reason of a housing association is to provide low cost housing to those on low incomes or those who need extra support. Nor must it forget that the Sutton Dwellings Trust was founded to provide ‘model low-rented dwellings for occupation by the poor of London and other towns and populous places.’
“BWTUC has consistently supported residents fighting for their voices to be heard on proposals for demolition of their estates. We have two estates facing demolition to be replaced by luxury homes for sale in Wandsworth. 400 homes on The Alton Estate in Roehampton are facing demolition. Parts of the estates north of Clapham Junction station also face demolition. BWTUC support residents resisting these demolition.
BWTUC salute the residents of the Sutton Estate in their fight to retain social housing in Chelsea.
BWTUC are supporters of Demolition Watch London in its campaign for all residents on estates facing demolition to be balloted on redevelopment plans with no loopholes or exceptions. This is the only way to stop asset stripping and the loss of social housing.”
Notes to Editors
Previous GMB Press Releases for some information on the long campaign.
1) GMB welcome rejected planning permission appeal for Sutton Estate in Chelsea (19 December 2018)
2) GMB London support BWTUC call for 159 empty homes in Chelsea to be repaired and reoccupied (13 July 2017)
3) GMB welcome decision to refuse planning permission for Sutton Estate, Chelsea (16 Nov 2016)
4) GMB call on K&C planning committee to reject Sutton Trust plan (14 Nov 2016)