London mayor publishes draft estate regeneration guidance

Measures to support a 'right to return' for social housing tenants on estates which undergo redevelopment are included in a new draft good practice guide for estate regeneration schemes, published by the mayor of London.

The now-demolished Heygate Estate in south London
The now-demolished Heygate Estate in south London

A foreword to the guide says it is intended "to reassure Londoners that they will be given real opportunities to shape estate regeneration, that engagement and consultation will be meaningful, and that offers of rehousing and compensation will meet guaranteed standards".

Alongside good practice case studies, key principles set out in the document include that regeneration should only happen where:

  • There is a "clear statement of the aims and objectives of the borough or housing association in maintaining and improving at housing estates"
  • There has been "full and transparent consultation and resident engagement"
  • Proposals "should offer full rights to return for displaced tenants and a fair deal for leaseholders"
  • Demolition "should only be followed where it does not result in a loss of social housing, or where all other options have been exhausted"

The document says that social housing tenants "should be offered a right to return to the regenerated estate".

"Landlords should offer tenants who have to move off the estate while works are underway a full right to return to a property of a suitable size, at the same or similar level of rent, the same level of security of tenure and with the appropriate design features", it says.

London mayor Sadiq Khan, said: "When done well, regeneration can be a positive way of protecting and improving housing estates in our great city. It offers the chance to improve the quality of housing and nearby public space, as well as building more and new affordable homes.

"Many councils are developing good practice in examples of estate regenerations across the capital – through this guide, I want to bring together the approaches that have worked well.

"I hope this guide will help to show that when local residents are involved from the start, and when key principles are followed, estate regeneration can help us build a city for all Londoners."

The consultation runs until 14 March 2017 and can be found here. The final guide is intended to be launched in 2017.

Last week, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published its Estate Regeneration National StrategyThe national strategy was developed by an independent advisory panel, chaired by former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine and planning minister Gavin Barwell.

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