Kennaway Estate: Campaigners hit out at housing association as redevelopment plans approved

Kennaway Estate in Church Street. Picture: Sam Gelder

Kennaway Estate in Church Street. Picture: Sam Gelder - Credit: Archant

Campaigners on a Stoke Newington estate have hit out at their housing association landlord for its handling of a redevelopment plan.

Taverner House on the Kennaway Estate could be flattened. Picture: Sam Gelder

Taverner House on the Kennaway Estate could be flattened. Picture: Sam Gelder - Credit: Archant

Proposals to demolish a 12-flat block on the Kennaway Estate and replace it with a terrace of three-storey town houses and a seven-storey block were signed off at a town hall planning meeting on Wednesday.

Southern Housing Group's scheme will create 61 new homes, of which 37 will be "genuinely affordable" - a mix of social, shared ownership and living rent.

Since the plans were revealed last year they have proved unpopular, and at the meeting, Cllr Sophie Cameron (Lab, Clissold), said: "It's important to note that although Southern Housing manages a number of very well-run estates in Hackney, the Kennaway Estate has been seriously mismanaged in recent years.

"This has sadly resulted in a lack of trust towards the housing association.

"Several residents from Sandale Close have experienced significant problems with repairs in their buildings, waiting an unacceptably long time for these problems to be resolved."

Residents from Garland House, another of Kennaway's blocks, told councillors their lift had been out of order for five months, with occupants in their eighties unable to get out of the building easily.

Kennaway residents added: "Confidence in Southern Housing has been affected. They have said that the community had been informed about initial plans for an eleven-storey block, and that this was reduced to seven storeys as a result of community feedback.

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"In fact, residents were only ever presented with the plan which included the seven-storey block, which has been opposed by us right from the beginning on the grounds of height."

The taller block has also caused concern from some saying it will detract both from views of the Grade II* listed St Mary's Church, as well as Clissold Park.

Existing social housing tenants in the doomed blocks will all have the right to return, though questions were asked as to why all the private homes for sale to fund the plans were to be built in a separate block.

A Southern representative replied the separation was part of the group's efforts to "maximise the value" of the private homes.

They said: "Obviously it is disappointing to hear about the lack of trust, and the issues residents have.

"We have worked hard, running a twelve-month consultation period, meeting with residents and holding design workshops, doorknocking and one-to-one consultation.

"Obviously we are aware of issues, and the regen team took a proactive approach to working with residents. I think we have built some trust back with residents, in terms of them having direct contact with those doing the maintenance now.

"We will work closely and proactively with them going forward."

After the meeting the Southern press office sent over an additional statement.

Oliver Boundy said: "It has taken too long to address some of the issues, but from our conversations with residents I am able to confirm our maintenance provider is now making good progress, and we will continue to closely monitor any issues going forward."