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UCL and Newham Council axe £1bn campus deal for Carpenters Estate, Stratford

Lund Point, used by the BBC during the Olympic Games, on the Carpenters Estate. Lund Point, used by the BBC during the Olympic Games, on the Carpenters Estate.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
4:14 PM

A controversial £1bn deal to build a university campus on the edge of the Olympic Park has been axed leaving residents in further turmoil.

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Newham Council announced today that exclusive discussions with University College London (UCL) over Carpenters Estate, Stratford, have been broken off for commercial reasons.

The deal-breaker now leaves the council free to negotiate with other interested parties.

Campaigners Carpenters Against Regeneration (CARP) have fiercely opposed the council’s decision to demolish and re-house residents rather than pay for refurbishments and the UCL partnership struck in October last year prompted protests outside the Town Hall.

Chairman Osita Madu said: “It’s good in the sense that we don’t want UCL to have the land and get rid of residents.

“But this means people now face further uncertainty about what will happen to their homes.

“I think CARP now need time to digest this information and decide how we move forward.

“But it’s a lesson for Newham Council and UCL about how they engage with the community.”

A Newham Council spokesperson said: “We recognise that this decision will bring further uncertainty for residents of the estate.

“We have already written to every resident on the estate to explain these developments and invited them to discuss any concerns they may have.”

They added: “A number of parties have expressed an interest in working with Newham Council to help regenerate the Carpenters Estate.

“These were not pursued while UCL and Newham Council were in exclusive negotiations.

“We will now reopen discussions with those and other interested parties.”

But both parties say they remain committed to building the campus elsewhere in Stratford.

A UCL spokesperson said: “This was an ambitious and extremely complex proposal and the process of intensive and lengthy examination has led us both to conclude that we cannot reach a commercial agreement.”

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