Northwold Estate: Developers say people are split on whether they want to see their homes demolished

Campaigners on the Northwold Estate protesting against redevelopment of the estate
Pictured Dorinia

Campaigners on the Northwold Estate protesting against redevelopment of the estate Pictured Dorinia Harley,Deborah McManamon,Nicola Collett,Emily Jost,Lucia Hernandez & Damian Brennan - Credit: Nigel Sutton

People on an embattled Upper Clapton estate are split on whether or not they want to see homes flattened, the developer has said.

But that may come as news to many of them. Just 10 people out of the estate’s 1,500 turned up to the launch of an “information hub” where the results were showcased last month – because they were only given 24 hours’ notice and it had been rearranged twice.

The Guinness Partnership has drawn up four options for redeveloping the Northwold Estate – with partial demolition a possibility.

The plans have been marred in controversy since they were first announced early last year, and a campaign group, Save Northwold, is fighting against knocking down any homes.

Guinness’s consultation was even restarted on the suggestion of its own consultants late last year after accusations tenants and leaseholders were not being given a proper say.

Now, after a delay, the housing association says the results of this summer’s second consultation show opinion is divided on whether partial demolition or infill (building new homes on open spaces) is better. It has also been forced to deny rumours circulating on the estate that it has narrowed down the options, something it was accused of doing behind closed doors during the first, aborted, exercise.

“We are considering next steps and have written to all residents telling them we will be in touch in the new year,” a spokeswoman said.

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There are 580 homes on the estate, and 222 people answered the consultation.

But campaigners are still angry. One said: “After being notified my flat could be demolished by receiving a letter 18 months ago the whole process has been completely shambolic.

“Residents are open to having face to face communication with Guinness but they are pushing us to work with consultants who are not equipped to answer our questions. It’s a continued strain on residents and their behaviour is not acceptable. They are failing in all areas.”

Guinness said after cutting down the options in the new year it would then consult in more detail. Cryptically, the spokeswoman added: “We do understand this delay is frustrating but believe it is necessary to take full account not only of the results of the consultation but also some of the external factors that have recently changed.”