Residents vote to knock down their homes

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 May 2019

Pike Close as it is now. Picture: Google Maps

Pike Close as it is now. Picture: Google Maps


Residents in Pike Close, Bromley, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of haveing their homes knocked down and replaced with a new development.

The architect's early vision for a new Pike Close. Picture: RiversideThe architect's early vision for a new Pike Close. Picture: Riverside

The new approach is an idea from the Mayor of London's office to avoid displacing communities during redevelopment.

Two companies are behind the Pike Close plans; Countryside and Riverside.

Countryside is a home builder specialising in placemaking and regeneration.

Riverside is one of the leading providers of social housing in the UK, supported by the Greater London Authority.

Together they have received approval from the residents of the Pike Close Estate to proceed with the redevelopment.

The ballot was conducted independently by Electoral Reform Services Ltd, and saw a turnout of just under 90per cent with 82pc voting in favour of Riverside's proposals.

Now 218 homes are planned for the redevelopment with a target of 50pc classed as affordable.

The area will be levelled in phases.

The new homes will meet modern space and energy efficiency standards. In addition, the project will create more than 100 new homes for sale on the open market to help meet local demand.

Riverside, which owns and manages the 92 rented homes in Pike Close, together with Countryside and architects HTA, have engaged with residents through workshops, consultations, drop-in sessions and visits to existing Countryside developments to demonstrate the quality of housing that will be delivered.

The proposals seek to improve the mix of housing in Pike Close, to address under-used spaces, including children's play areas, and to improve community safety. All residents on the estate will only have to move once - straight into their new home.

A spokesman said: "This is achieved by building the first block of the new Pike Close before any demolition work takes place."

Next is a planning application to be submitted to Bromley Council later this year.

Riverside Group chief executive Carol Matthews said: "The vote means Riverside can provide overcrowded families with new homes that meet their needs, improve their living conditions, and still keep the existing community together.

"This is Riverside's second successful resident ballot since the Mayor of London issued guidance in summer 2018. It is the result of months of work engaging with our tenants showing Riverside's commitment to revitalising communities.

"Working with a private-sector partner and producing additional homes for sale on the open market means we, as a not-for-profit organisation, are able to fund this transformation in the lives of our tenants. We will continue to work with and listen to our tenants, and the wider community, as we shape the details of our planning application to the London Borough of Bromley in 2019."

And James Murray, deputy mayor for housing and residential development, added: "We are pleased to see the mayor's policy being put into practice at Pike Close.

"Londoners who live on estates must have a real say in any plans for where they live, which is why the mayor has put ballots at the heart of his approach to estate regeneration. We look forward to continuing to work with Riverside to build new social housing for existing residents and other Londoners."

Andy Fancy, managing director, Partnerships South (North & South), Countryside, said: "The redevelopment of Pike Close will be a fantastic opportunity to deliver a significant number of new, high-quality homes for local residents, creating a vastly improved neighbourhood, integrating existing and new communities.

"At Countryside, our ethos centres on putting the local community first, and yet again, we have successfully demonstrated that, by continuing to work with residents from the outset, we can deliver the much-needed investment in housing and public realm that the area needs whilst preserving a sense of belonging and wellbeing - so crucial to the success of a cohesive and sustainable community."

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