Council reassures tenants in flats slated for demolition
By Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter
Haringey Council has strengthened its pledges to tenants whose flats have been slated for demolition because of safety fears.
Cabinet members made a range of being asked to rethink their plans by the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC).
The flats were earmarked for demolition in June after being deemed unsafe by building inspectors – but campaigners criticised the way the council handled the matter.
At a cabinet meeting last month, councillors pledged to ensure residents’ rights are protected as demolition and rebuilding work go ahead. Scrutiny committee chair Lucia das Neves presented the OSC report and asked cabinet members for more clarity on the right of return for leaseholders and assurances on the re-provision of council homes at council rents.
The right of return means those who have been moved off the estate would be guaranteed a home on a replacement development.
Cllr Emina Ibrahim, cabinet member for housing and estate renewal, said residents who had to move out of the borough to be rehoused would have a guaranteed right of return to the estate. She agreed to boost the voice of tenants on a panel set up to assess residents’ right to return in exceptional cases.
Cllr Ibrahim also pledged to ensure residents are given a say in the rebuilding of the estate. She said: “Cabinet do commit to a fully participative process on the masterplan and future consultation. The engagement and consultation process will start this month.
“We would expect the details of how residents will be involved to be agreed very early in the process.” Cllr Ibrahim again re-stated her pledge to ensure all of the demolished flats would be replaced by at least the same number of council homes available at council rent levels.
In response to concerns that the use words such as “regeneration” and “renewal” in the cabinet report could give residents a misleading idea of the council’s intentions, Cllr Ibrahim made it clear the project was not a regeneration scheme but a response to “severe health and safety issues”.
“We would expect the details of how residents will be involved to be agreed very early in the process”