Council has received ‘no firm proposals’ from UCL for Carpenters Estate

Carpenters Estate residents have vowed to take their battle against council demolition plans to the courts.

They were furious after the Local Government Act was enacted at last Thursday’s Newham Council Cabinet meeting at East Ham Town Hall to exclude them on the grounds of commercial sensitivity.

One item on the agenda was expected to discuss the latest on the University College London (UCL) proposals to replace the Stratford homes with a new campus.

The UCL’s ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the council was extended until September. A decision is expected on October 25.

Resident Dolores John-Philip said: “I really feel that they were stamping on our graves. It’s like we are just nothing to them.

“I just feel like we are the forgotten people. We are not against the regeneration but it is just the complete lack of respect.”

Brian Finch, who has lived with his wife Mary in Gibbons Road for more than 20 years, said this had made tenants more angry.

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He added: “The money I was going to spend on the house, we are going to use to take this to Europe.”

Jo Negrini, director of strategic regeneration planning and Olympic legacy, was forced to placate angry members of Carpenters Against Regeneration Plans (CARP).

She admitted the council had not seen any firm proposals from the UCL.

CARP chairman Osita Madu said their exclusion from the meeting meant residents had been forced to put up with eight months of uncertainty over their homes.

Ms Negrini said: “What I have suggested in the report is that we work with UCL now, and at the end of the exclusivity agreement, on their proposals with a view to bringing forward a report on October 25.

“At that point, a decision will be taken by the council.

“We will consider their proposals, we will have a discussion about what that means for the land and everything will come together.”

A second march was staged in Stratford on Saturday - the same day as the Olympic Torch relay - in protest against the plans.

“The Unofficial Gentrification Tour” started at Stratford underground station at noon but residents and UCL students later ran into trouble with security guards who did not let them into Lund Point - where BBC News is currently based.