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Aylesbury Estate revamp architects suffer PFI axe

The government has cut £180 million worth of PFI financing from Levitt Bernstein and Pollard Thomas Edwards’ Aylesbury estate regeneration scheme in south London

The £2.4 billion project is just one of 13 huge UK housing schemes this week reeling from the government’s decision to pull £1.9 billion out of residential PFIs that are still in the design stages.

Local authority Southwark Council vowed to press on with the project signalling an intention to enter crisis talks with the government.

Fiona Colley, councillor and cabinet member for regeneration at Southwark Council said: ‘We do not yet know what the overall impact of this decision will mean but we are experienced in seeing large-scale regeneration projects come to fruition and we remain committed to Aylesbury’s successful regeneration.

‘[We] will continue to explore every option available to us and will in no way be defeated by this decision.’

The project’s first phase is on site and scheduled to complete in 2013. It is understood the PFI money was planned to help deliver 22 per cent of project’s 4,200 homes.

In June the HCA pulled £20 million worth of funding from the project leading Southwark Council to consider its re-phasing.

The Somerstown regeneration project in Porstmouth and the Gospel Oak Regeneration project in Camden, London, were among the 13 other PFI schemes affected by the funding blow.

Steven Wylie, councillor and cabinet member for Housing at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘We are bitterly disappointed to hear this news.

‘We have worked tirelessly with the community to produce a vision for a bright new future for Somerstown which would have allowed us to build the high quality housing that local people need and deserve.’

Cut from the project was £122 million earmarked for the delivery of 733 new homes.

A Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) statement explained: ‘[DCLG] has concluded that all the PFI projects under contract and in procurement (subject to rigorous assessment of value for money) will continue to be funded but not those in the initial design stage.’

A Homes & Communities Agency statement added: ‘Local authorities with pipeline projects are asked to be aware that the department may be able to consider their outline business cases in the event of any further resources being made available in the latter part of the spending review period or a bid being made for PFI funding in the following spending review.

‘However, whether it is worth local authorities continuing to invest in developing their plans for possible future PFI or non-PFI funding routes will be a decision for each authority to consider and take at its own risk.’

 

Projects affected

 

 
Local AuthorityProject
Birmingham City CouncilLyndhurst Estate
Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester CouncilExtra-Care Housing
Camden London Borough CouncilGospel Oak Regeneration
Cornwall County CouncilExtra-Care and General Needs
Hull City CouncilOrchard Park Estate
Leeds City CouncilLifetime Neighbourhoods
Manchester City CouncilCollyhurst Estate
Northampton Borough CouncilEastfields and Thorplands
Nottingham City CouncilMeadows Estate
Portsmouth City CouncilSomerstown Estate
Shropshire County CouncilExtra-Care Housing
Southwark London Borough CouncilAylesbury Estate
Stoke-on-Trent City CouncilSuburban Estate

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