Mayor of London walks away but council remains fully committed to the Church Street regeneration
Residents have been waiting over a decade for the regeneration of Church Street, but last Wednesday [18th July] the Mayor announced that the £23.5m of Mayoral funding previously identified for the scheme would be dependent on a resident ballot.
However, residents voted in favour of regeneration in 2012 and have continued to be consulted regularly over the past six years.
By demanding an unnecessary additional ballot, the Mayor is poorly serving these residents and the needs across London for more affordable homes. Over half of the 1,750 homes for Church Street are affordable homes.
Cllr Rachael Robathan, Westminster City Council cabinet member for finance, property and regeneration, said: “Our plans for Church Street will see more genuinely affordable council housing and we have been in constant dialogue with residents about how to achieve that.
“Church Street is an area of Westminster with significant levels of deprivation and is an urgent priority for us. Rather than threatening to withhold public money, the Mayor should pull his sleeves up and help us to provide new homes for Londoners.”
“This is about people’s homes and their lives and we remain committed to deliver the regeneration of Church Street. We will explore every avenue available to us including the potential to secure government funding.”
All of the funding previously identified by the Mayor had been to fund the purchase of properties in Blackwater House, Eden House and an area known as Site C with the exclusion of Kennet House. The ballot in 2012 included all of these sites, and 87% of residents who voted in this ballot supported the regeneration going ahead.
The Mayor’s announcement of the withdrawal of funding came following a consultation on estate renewal across London. Only 63 people and 70 organisations responded to the Mayor’s London-wide consultation across a city of 8.1 million people. This is fewer than responded to the recent Church Street masterplan consultation that focused on just one estate renewal. Only 52% of those consulted by the Mayor supported making funding conditional on resident ballots without caveats.