Leytonstone estate regeneration backed by residents

Avenue Road Estate in Leytonstone (credit Google)
Avenue Road Estate in Leytonstone (credit Google)

Avenue Road Estate redevelopment will go ahead next year after successful ballot of residents, reports Victoria Munro, Local Democracy Reporter

The demolition and redevelopment of a council estate of almost 260 homes is set to begin late next year.

Almost two-thirds of residents at Avenue Road Estate in Leytonstone took part in a ballot on regeneration in January. The result was  overwhelmingly in favour, with only 15 people voting against.

The estate was built in the early 1960s using concrete panels and Waltham Forest Council says on its website the flats “don’t meet the modern standards we would expect to provide”.

Snowberry Children’s Centre, which closed in 2019, and Nexus Community Centre, will also be demolished, and the rebuilt estate will include an unspecified number of extra homes.

At a meeting last week, the council’s cabinet agreed to force homeowners on the estate to sell if it is unable to reach an agreement with them. There are 17 privately-owned homes on the estate, as well as one commercial leaseholder, whom the council can force to sell using compulsory purchase orders if necessary.

A report prepared for the cabinet notes that the council will first seek to buy back the homes through “negotiations with the owners” but that a forced sale “may be necessary”.

The homes and commercial space would be sold for “an independent agreed market value” and owners will “have the option of purchasing a new home on the estate”.

Officers estimate the regeneration will be spread, in phases, over eight years so that displaced tenants can “wherever possible” be rehomed within the estate.

Because of the length of the project, “meanwhile works” will be done in blocks not due to be rebuilt until the later phases “to ensure current homes are maintained to a high standard”.

The report adds: “All social housing tenants will be given the ‘right to return’ in the event that they are required to temporarily move away from the estate due to the regeneration.

“Eligible tenants rehoused as a result of the regeneration will have the right to receive compensation. 

“Compensation is made of two parts – ‘home loss’ and ‘disturbance allowance’ – but paid in one lump sum after any move has taken place. 

“The recommended rehousing budget is to facilitate the rehousing of all social tenants on the estate across the length of the redevelopment.”

Details of the recommended budget are unknown as the report was not published for financial confidentiality reasons and the cabinet discussed the project in private.

It is hoped that work will begin on the site in September 2022, although the council will first need to find a developer and secure planning permission.