The London Borough of Newham is seeking a development team to regenerate a housing estate adjacent to London’s 2012 Olympic Games park
The council has published a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union calling for a private sector joint venture partner to work up new proposals for the Carpenters Estate.
The council wants to demolish 700 existing homes on the estate and replace them with 3,000 homes, of which 35 per cent will be denominated ‘affordable’.
Newham mayor Robin Wales said: ‘Stratford has seen unprecedented and massive change and the area is now one of London’s top retail, leisure and commercial destinations.
‘Our vision is for a mixed-use development on the site, bringing with it significant social and economic benefits by increasing the number of homes and employment opportunities as well as creating additional community and open spaces.’
The appointed team will have its work cut out getting all of the existing residents of the estate on board.
Campaign group Focus E15 has criticised the council over the proposals, which it claims are designed to push poorer residents out of the borough.
Saskia O’Hara, speaking from the campaign, said: ‘We would not phrase this as progress, but as an increased push by the council to clear the estate of working class people, as it has been trying to do since 2001, with a continued fightback from residents.
‘The Carpenters Estate and the fight for residents to stay on the estate is the embodiment of that.’
We would not phrase this as progress, but as an increased push by the council to clear the estate of working class people
But Wales rejected the criticism, saying: ‘We strongly refute that there is any kind of social cleansing taking place in Newham – it is an unfair and unfounded allegation.
‘There is a housing crisis in London at the moment and we are committed to regenerating parts of our borough that are crying out for investment.
‘This regeneration will create mixed neighbourhoods with a variety of housing tenures and including family homes. As part of our planning powers we will ensure that there are affordable options for all of our residents.’
He said that resident consultation has been and would continue to be an important part of the process.
Between 2004 and 2009, the council consulted the estate’s tenant management organisation on renovating the estate. It concluded that all the options outlined were too expensive because the costs of refurbishment outweighed the value of the properties on the estate.
A charter adopted by the council last year promised to re-provide homes for all social tenants on the new estate, with all units meeting the Homes and Communities Agency design and quality standards.
The charter also said that it would aim to provide social housing in blocks no higher than eight storeys with no more than 50 units being served by a single entrance.
It also said that affordable and private housing should be integrated together within the development.
This week’s tender said that the new scheme would provide around 3,000 new homes, a new education quarter and commercial uses.
It said: ‘The partner will need to be able to deliver successful place-making through high-quality urban design and architecture, planning and development management.’
The council said that a number of homes would be held and managed to provide an income stream for the development.
The procurement process will close in autumn 2018 and it is anticipated a preferred bidder will be chosen in late 2018, with a view to starting work on the site in 2020.