209 homes built and maintained by Ealing Council make up this estate. Many of the homes are what we used to call council houses but some are privately owned. The estate fills almost four acres and is bounded to the north by Tawny Close, to the west by Seaford Road and to the south and east by Sherwood
The Council, effectively, admits it designed and built an inadequate estate and has failed to maintain it properly. Now it wants to knock it down. We’ve heard all this before at Green Man Lane Estate and at Copley Close. (For reasons not immediately apparent the Council has abandoned its current plans for Copley
The Council says that it’s consulted the Dean Gardens Estate residents who say they want the estate demolished and a new estate built. The Council pulled this stunt with GMLE residents. What is now being built at GMLE is actually fewer Social Rental homes than existed in 2010 (from 369 to 334). Best estimates are that at the completion of the new development less than half of the current 799 residents (ie around 400) will be part of the new community of 2,000 residents. Those who owned their own homes are being driven out by the use of Compulsory Purchase Orders which value their homes at very low levels.
This week local residents in the area and WEN received a letter from the Council seeking our views on the redevelopment of Dean Gardens Estate. No proposals were included in the letter. So I called the Council and was told that there are no development proposals and no design requirements that might be included in an Invitation to Tender document. I then asked whether a short list of developers had been assembled. I asked who they were and was told that there is a short list of developers but that their identity was confidential. Now all this is very strange. At the same stage with regards to GMLE, WEN was told that there was a design specification but that we couldn’t see it as it was confidential. As to the shortlist of developers the Council told us who they were.
The most idiotic part of this Public Consultancy process is that WEN and local residents are being asked their views on an unknown set of requirements and designs. All we do know is what is in the as yet unapproved September 2010 Local Development Framework Development Sites DPD. It proposes ‘Council-led housing regeneration involving redevelopment and replacement of existing dwellings with a mix of new dwelling types and tenures’. It is proposed to demolish 209 homes and build 290 new homes and if the GMLE model /template is applied we will finish up with fewer Social Rented homes here than we have now.
So I guess the question we are being asked here is do we want this estate to be redeveloped. My answer is no, I want this estate to be refurbished and caretakers installed to run and maintain the estate effectively. Both national and local government keep on telling us that we have huge debts and we need to make swingeing cuts. Here’s a great opportunity for no-one to take on more debt. The cost of refurbishment, insulation and improved maintenance of the existing homes will be nothing remotely like the £50 + million needed to build these 290 new homes.
If you want to inform the Council of your views you should address them for the attention of to Mumta Ganatra at email@example.com You have until 22 August to do this.