Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Fellow of the RSA, Independent housing consultant, and former housing association chief executive Colin Wiles investigates the situation facing the Sutton Estate, Chelsea.
I live on an estate in Chelsea London which was specifically built for Social housing by William Richard Sutton his last will and testament was to build these estates for the working class and to remain that way.
I have Lived on this estate since 1971 and feel privileged to had the opportunity to have grown up in this part of London.
The estate has been part of the community since 1912 and has blended with the surrounding classes of people in the area in harmony.
Our estate is under threat of a major redevelopment by the current managers of the estate Affinity Sutton who have purposely run the estate into a managed decline and their solution is to sell off half the estate to private investors.
I would like to invite you to come and have a look at our estate and I promise you will see some of the best built buildings you will ever see in social housing.
Affinity Sutton have not taken on any more assured tenancy's instead they have said that 7 Blocks have been deemed unfit to live in yet 70 family's live in these blocks some for as long as 11 years which are on short term lets current rents are between £500- £700 for these properties which are leased by the council.
Affinity Sutton promote themselves as a charity but that is one of many companies they are associated with, their plan is to knock down the estate and rebuild with with the modern day prefabricated flats that are being thrown up all over London which I predict would have a forty year life before they require major refurbishment.
This estate was well managed by the trust for 80 years with in house maintenance staff.
Affinity Sutton started their campaign to bring the estate into decline and have tried to bulldoze their way to ruin this community for nothing more than profit they claim to have spent three million pound on the estate the last financial year
They have mortgaged the other properties they manage but not this estate, why do you ask, the average price for a two bedroom flat in Chelsea is two million pounds and they claim they will make a mere 20 million profit which will be taken out of the estate and used elsewhere?????????
This is a flawed plan and is for the prime land which belongs to the people it was meant for the estate should not be exploited there are another 5 estate's in the area and if this is passed it would be a social cleanse of the area these estates are full of teachers nurses postal workers and many other core workers.
Why should we be removed for the properties to be sold to oversea investors.
Chelsea is currently under 50% occupancy due to foreign investment it does not make economical sense just to gain a quick Buck without regard of the consequences.
The Chelsea Society has recently made a statement on their position in regards to the historically significant Sutton Estate, Chelsea:
"the Society will carefully examine any planning application that Affinity Sutton may make for its estate in Chelsea"
Chairman of The Chelsea Society Planning Committee,
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