GMB welcomes decision to cancel Sutton Estate demolition

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Sutton Estate, demolition

GMB London has welcomed the decision by Clarion Housing to cancel the demolition proposal of Sutton Estate in Chelsea, following a campaign by residents and unions

Clarion Housing has cancelled the demolition of the estate and the destruction of the community housed in the affordable social homes on the William Sutton Estate in Chelsea. GMB campaigned against this development as a case of asset stripping and social cleansing in this wealthy borough.

A report from Inside Housing (4 May) has said Clarion has gone back on proposals to demolish 383 flats in the Sutton estate. The announcement comes six months after James Brokenshire rejected Clarion’s proposals to demolish the flats due to there being a significant loss of social housing.

Clarion has instead said that they intend to carry out improvements to most of the homes in the estate and bring the empty properties back into use.

Warren Kenny, GMB regional secretary, said: “GMB is very pleased with Clarion’s decision to cancel their proposals that would have led to the loss of nearly one-third of the social housing units on the William Sutton Estate in Chelsea. GMB had previously branded this development a blatant case of asset stripping.

“Clarion must not forget the primary reason of a housing association is to provide low-cost housing to those on low incomes or those who need extra support. Nor must it forget that the Sutton Dwellings Trust was founded to provide ‘model low-rented dwellings for occupation by the poor of London and other towns and populous places.’

“GMB has consistently supported residents fighting for their voices to be heard on proposals for demolition of their estates. We salute the residents of the Sutton Estate in their fight to retain social housing in Chelsea.

“We are supporters of Demolition Watch London in its campaign for all residents on estates facing demolition to be balloted on redevelopment plans with no loopholes or exceptions. This is the only way to stop asset stripping and the loss of social housing.”

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