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‘Thousands’ of social homes in London lost due to regeneration

Regeneration projects in London have led to the loss of thousands of social houses over the past 15 years, with more set to come, according to new research published by Green London Assembly member Sian Berry.

Her analysis of all planning permissions in the London Development Database shows that 4,142 council homes have been lost in completed redevelopment schemes on sites containing existing social housing since 2003.

She also looked at schemes which have received planning permission but have not been completed, which showed that a further 7,612 social rented homes are set to be lost in regeneration schemes over the coming years.

‘The very least that should be achieved when a council estate is in need of work is the net gain of council homes,’ said Ms Berry.

In August, the Mayor finalised a policy which means major estate regeneration schemes involving the demolition of social homes must now have the backing of existing residents before they can receive City Hall funding, but Ms Berry says more needs to be done to protect residents from losing their homes.

‘People on estates across London are working on their own “people’s plans” for their areas and coming up with ways to put new homes on estates without needless demolition,’ she said.

‘The Mayor has given them the right to a ballot over plans that come from their landlords, but more needs to be done to empower residents to plan their own improvements.’

Her analysis also criticises the way Right to Buy sales and selloffs have been managed by London councils, saying when you add these numbers in ‘the numbers get even worse.’

Her analysis found Islington was the only borough with a net gain of social homes across both past and future schemes.

They saw an increase of 99 homes in completed schemes so far, and a net gain of 223 homes planned in future.

Hammersmith & Fulham saw a net loss of 61 homes in earlier plans but has given permission more recently for schemes that will add 589 new social rented homes to the borough.

‘These figures show that there are choices boroughs have made in the past, and for the future, that lead to very different outcomes for the loss or gain of social housing in their areas when estate plans are made,’ added Ms Berry.

Her figures for each London borough are below.

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