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Khan hits back at claim he rushed regeneration schemes to avoid ballots

Sadiq khan at estate
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The Mayor of London has denied a claim by Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry that he has been rushing through regeneration schemes before new rules on estate ballots come into effect

Berry had claimed that mayor Sadiq Khan signed off funding agreements for 34 estate renewal projects involving 9,000 home demolitions since a consultation on his Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration closed last year.

In a blog post, Berry accused the mayor of a ‘betrayal of the residents on these 34 estates’.

She said: ‘The mayor needs to think again about how the people on the estates he’s rushed through should be treated. Their right to a ballot can’t be brushed off just because he’s decided to restrict his policy only to questions of funding and pushed these deals through.

‘Many of these estates, including Cressingham Gardens, do not yet have planning permission and the mayor could be asking for ballots to be held on these schemes, and using the results as a consideration in his planning decisions.’

But a spokesperson for the mayor said that Berry had presented a deliberately misleading interpretation of the facts, referring to a promise made earlier this year when launching a new consultation on mandatory estate ballots.

The spokesman said: ‘The mayor made a firm public commitment not to sign off any contracts for new estate regeneration schemes during the consultation. No contracts for new estate regeneration schemes have been signed since the consultation on ballots opened.’

According to the mayor, the majority of the 34 decisions were made before last summer, and 16 contracts signed after 1 December were for schemes already allocated funding.

In February, Khan launched the consultation on whether to withhold funding for estate regeneration proposals unless they are backed by a majority of people living in an area.

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