Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Is Ferrier Estate demolition a "charade" to secure funding?

Ferrier Estate residents are being evicted, and their homes being partially demolished, despite no apparent development taking place, Greenwich Conservatives have claimed:

Slab blocks on the Ferrier Estate partially demolished earlier this year
Beyond the large green hoardings little work appears to be taking place

As documented by this site, large sections of the Ferrier were left as partial ruins earlier this year with little apparent rebuilding taking place since.

The council admit that they will lose £21 million in government funding if residents are not evicted and development has not begun by March next year.

However, the leader of Greenwich Conservatives Spencer Drury claims that these partial demolitions are merely a "charade" to suggest that work is taking place where it is not:

"The Labour Council is now so far behind schedule it is hurrying through the eviction of tenants before the end of the financial year to ensure government funding remains in place. Labour has mishandled this process from the very beginning and now we find that the demolition appears to be simply a charade to suggest work has started when in fact no rebuilding is taking place."

While little building appears to be underway on the actual Ferrier Estate, land adjacent to Sutcliffe Park has been developed including these new houses by Eltham Green:

This land was previously used for football, causing the Conservatives to claim that while "Labour seem able to concrete over football pitches, basketball courts and other open spaces [they] cannot manage a properly organised regeneration in Greenwich.”

The remaining residents on the Ferrier Estate have also hit out at Greenwich Council, saying that they are receiving eviction notices despite no alternative accommodation being in place.

-Update- Responding to these claims Deputy Leader of Greenwich Council Cllr Peter Brooks said:

"I would urge Cllr Drury to visit the site and see the excellent new homes that are being built. Not only are many of them completed but residents have already moved in and are delighted with their new homes. 
"The Council has given planning approval for the next phases of development , and we are well advanced with rehousing the remaining residents so that the next phases of construction can get underway soon.
"We have had a specific deadline imposed on us by the Government to start work on an extra care scheme that will provide housing and support for 170 households aged 55 and over. The Government has threatened to withdraw a £21m grant for this scheme if work does not begin by the end of March 2011. As a result of the Government's refusal to roll this grant into next year, we have had to issue legal Notices to a number of remaining tenants. Every tenant will be given at least two offers suitable for their needs - with repossession only to be used as a very last resort."

Are you still living on the Ferrier Estate? If so, please leave your thoughts in the comments or email us via this address.

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