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Putting resident engagement at the heart of regeneration

Posted on 14 May 2019

Residents have given their overwhelming support for plans to revamp Brookhill Close in Greenwich.

Residents were balloted in February to ask whether or not they wanted plans to go ahead. Of the 99 eligible voters, 87% voted, with 86% in favour of regeneration.

The plan is to demolish 80 homes, replacing them with 272 new flats and houses, as well as improving the estate layout. There will be 76 social rented homes for existing residents and London Affordable Rent homes for new tenants. There will also be 64 homes for shared ownership and a further 132 for private sale, which will help fund regeneration.

Tenants have been given the option of a new home at Brookhill Close that meets their needs or a permanent move away. About 50 households have opted to stay, with the rest preferring to move to another area.

We decided to ballot residents in line with Mayor of London’s good practice guide to estate regeneration ‘Better homes for local people’, which includes guidance for ballots when homes are being demolished or when a scheme has GLA funding.

As James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, explained: “Londoners who live on estates must have a real say in any plans for where they live, which is why ballots are at the heart of the approach to regeneration; we are pleased to see the policy being put into practice at Brookhill Close.”

Tom Shaw, Hyde Managing Director, Development added that we were committed to engaging with residents from the very start of regeneration, before we even decided to hold a ballot. “It was critical to give residents time to understand the proposals; to listen to their concerns and to build trust, which is why we set up a resident steering group in 2016 to work with us to develop the masterplan,” he said.

“The positive ballot result is extremely pleasing, particularly as plans involve some residents having to move out for four years,” Tom added. “We now have a mandate to continue with our plans. It shows you can get a good turnout and a positive outcome when you have an exceptional scheme and truly engage with residents.”

Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, commented: “I hope this can be seen as a blueprint for future ballots. The fact that residents on Brookhill Close voted overwhelmingly for new homes demonstrates that, when residents are kept fully informed from the start of a regeneration process, and can influence proposals, they are willing to support redevelopment.”