The Prime Minister has announced a national programme of estate regeneration, aiming to “end poverty and improve the life chances of the most disadvantaged”.
David Cameron has announced plans to take 100 housing estates across the country and to aim to either “radically transform” them or, “in the worst cases, knock them down and replace them with high-quality homes”. He has also announced a £140m fund to “jump-start” the projects.
The Prime Minister said: “Within these so-called sink estates, behind front doors, families build warm and welcoming homes.
“But step outside in the worst estates and you’re confronted by brutal high-rise towers and dark alleyways that are a gift to criminals.
“Decades of neglect have led to gangs and anti-social behaviour. And poverty has become entrenched, because those who could afford to move have understandably done so”.
Secretary of State Greg Clark said: “We know the worst estates offer huge potential to be revived so that they become thriving communities and places which people want to live and work in.
“That’s why we’re so determined to kick-start work which will benefit the lives of thousands of people by providing high quality homes.”
To help tackle the problem the nationwide strategy will be supported by a new Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, which will be chaired by Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister who has long championed the regeneration of Britain’s inner cities. The Panel will report in detail by this year’s Autumn Statement, it is thought this panel will choose the 100 estates which will be worked on.
The government say the Prime Minister’s announcement comes ahead of a report from Savills which will show the approach to regeneration could help catalyse the building of hundreds of thousands of new homes in London alone.
Many estates in London have already been redeveloped and densified, providing new homes as well as replacement social rent ones. Estates like South Acton, Green Man Lane and South Kilburn have had significant interventions in the last ten years, so it remains to be seen how the £140m fund will assist the continuation of this process.