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Heseltine launches estates regeneration panel

Words: Laura Edgar
Estate regeneration / iStock

A panel of experts has been convened to consider how the layout of housing estates can best be used to deliver more quality homes available for rent and buy.

Lord Heseltine and housing minister Brandon Lewis are co-chairing the panel, which met for the first time on 9 February.

Heseltine said new tenants would be at the heart of the regeneration of the country’s most deprived areas.

The panel members are:

• Councillor Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council

• Nicholas Boys Smith, director of Create Streets, a social enterprise and independent research institute

• Andrew Boff, leader of the Greater London Authority Conservatives housing group

• Elaine Bailey, chief executive of Hyde Housing Association

• Paul Tennant, chief executive of Orbit Housing Association

• Tony Pidgley, chief executive of Berkeley Homes

• Peter Vernon, chief executive of Grosvenor Estates

• Jane Duncan, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects

• Ben Bolgar, director of Design Theory and Networks at the Prince’s Foundation

• Dominic Grace, head of London Residential Development at estates agent Savills

• Emma Cariaga from the British Land and Thames Valley Housing Association

• David Budd, Mayor of Middlesbrough

• Natalie Elphicke, chief executive of the Housing & Finance Institute

• Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham North

• Félicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture

In January, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to transform 100 housing estates in Britain. He wrote in The Sunday Times that some housing estates are “entrenching poverty in Britain” and isolating families and communities, despite the fact that “behind front doors, families build warm and welcoming homes”.

A £140 million fund was announced to start the work.

Cameron said the panel's first job would be to create a list of post-war estates across the country that are “ripe for redevelopment”.

The panel will report back to Cameron and communities secretary Greg Clark and, said the government, would develop a national estate regeneration strategy and work with 100 housing estates to “tackle deprivation and transform them into vibrant communities”.

The national strategy is expected to be drawn up by autumn.

Heseltine said: “The panel will provide expert advice, support and explore innovative funding solutions to drive forward the regeneration of estates around the country.

“However, I am clear that this has to be locally led and we must work with the residents of such estates. I now want to see local communities coming forward with innovative ideas to achieve desirable neighbourhoods that local people can be proud of.”

The panel met at the York Road Estate in Battersea, London, where plans are being developed for a regeneration scheme.

Wandsworth Council leader and panel member Ravi Govindia said the council’s approach is “centred firmly on improving” the lives of Winstanley and York estate residents, providing them with “new opportunities and better life chances”.

Future meetings are expected to be held at estates across the country.

Image credit | iStock