Project for 750 homes is next to Chelsea Barracks
Westminster council has approved plans designed by Arup to build 750 new homes in the shadow of the £1bn Chelsea Barracks development.
The scheme will involve the demolition of 13 existing buildings containing 336 homes, and has sparked anger.
The new homes will be built as part of the regeneration of the 1930s Ebury Bridge social housing estate in Pimlico and will feature 144 new family-sized “affordable” homes. Of these, 87 are marked for social rent and 57 for “intermediate” rent.
Labour ward councillors are calling for a full ballot on the project, claiming the council has not produced any evidence that the residents are in favour of it.
They cited a survey conducted by residents themselves which found that 88% don’t back the scheme, known as scenario seven.
A Labour spokesman said: “If the council’s plan goes ahead as it is currently proposed, social tenants will go from being a majority on Ebury Bridge Estate to being the minority – and the make-up of its community will be forever changed.
”Ebury Bridge Estate was first earmarked for regeneration in 2010, meaning that for eight years residents and retailers have been living with it hanging over them - causing incredible stress, anxiety and uncertainty. The estate has fallen into disrepair, and a staggering 35% of its flats are empty, covered in Sitex. What’s more, many of the residents are particularly vulnerable.”
The council said it had spent months consulting on the new plans which would more than double the number of homes on the estate.
Cllr Rachael Robathan, Westminster’s cabinet member for finance, property and regeneration said: “The Ebury Bridge estate will remain a council housing estate. We wanted to get this right, which is why we spent months listening and talking to the community. A right of return is guaranteed for all secure council tenants and lease holders.”
The scheme will be completed over 10 years in three phases with work starting early next year.
The next phase of the Chelsea Barracks development was put on hold earlier this year but last month developer Qatari Diar kickstarted the fourth phase of the scheme with eight contractors, including original contractor Multiplex, being invited to pitch for the £200m deal.
It has been masterplanned by Squire & Partners and practices working on individual elements include Eric Parry, PDP, Ben Pentreath & Associates and Piercy & Company.