May 22 2013 Latest news:
Monday, July 2, 2012
Carpenters Estate tenants likely to lose their homes if the University College London (UCL) takes over the site will be given priority in the race for homes in the Olympic Park in Stratford.
The Athletes’ Village will be converted to the East Village after the Games and split into affordable housing and private properties in June next year.
The pledges are set out in a newly approved residents’ charter distributed to people in low-rise Carpenters properties, including leaseholders and freeholders.
It was approved by Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales amid increased concern over the rehousing programme set to take place once UCL confirms plans to build a campus on the site.
But the document has been criticised by residents who remain unconvinced that it will protect them in the event they are forced to move.
Osita Madu, chairman of Carpenters Against Regeneration Plans (CARP), and Lund Point resident, said the council was operating on a ‘‘divide and rule’’ basis.
He said: “The charter just provides the basic statutory requirements. It doesn’t offer any legal protection for homeowners and is only aimed at tenants. There is nothing about the rights of elderly people who have been here and paid off their mortgages.”
The residents’ charter appears to include pledges aimed at those who feared being forced out of Stratford.
“Residents who wish to remain in the Stratford area (or wish to return to the site of the Carpenters Estate) will be able to do so,” it says. “Sufficient affordable, rented social housing will be provided to honour this commitment, both to existing tenants but also those tenants who have already been decanted off the estate.”
Tenants permanently displaced by development proposals are entitled to a one-off £4,700 payment, the charter claims.
CARP vice-chairman Joe Alexander added: “We have said it before, we are not against regeneration, it is the secretive way it has been carried out by this Mayor.”
The UCL’s agreement with the Newham Council was extended last month until November to allow it more time to develop its campus proposals.
A council spokesman added: “A further development of world-class academic facilities such as UCL in Stratford would create a wealth of benefits for the local area and the rest of the borough.”