‘Cardboard’ council estates only designed to last 15 years, claims Labour’s party whip

Residents ask for clarification

Friday, 4th March — By Richard Osley

Wendling estate

Wendling in Gospel Oak

A PROMINENT Labour councillor has been asked to explain a claim that some of Camden’s estates were only ever designed to last no more than 15 years, writes Richard Osley.

Marcus Boyland, who represents Gospel Oak and serves as the ruling group’s chief whip, told Monday’s meeting that some estates should have been “brought down” years ago.

After listening to the presentation from Professor Paul Watt from Birkbeck in Bloomsbury about the hidden risks of estate demolition projects, Cllr Boyland said distinctions could be made between well built housing – and some that he said was never meant to be standing for hundreds of years.

“Some of the estates in my patch – so I’m Gospel Oak, and the borders of Haverstock – were only designed to be up for 15 years, 20 years. I mean literally designed for that,” he said.

“They were kind of second-generation, kind of post-war and cardboard buildings, almost really. Flat roofs and water pouring down the edge, down the walls, and things like that.”

Cllr Marcus Boyland

He added: “So they had to be brought down. They weren’t designed to last for 20 years – and we’re only bringing them down now.

“They are not the grand Victorian Lissenden Gardens estates.”

Cllr Boyland is an enthusiastic supporter of the CIP and often references the new housing in Cherry Court.

“Obviously I speak to the residents all the time, and my colleagues on the committee will be sick of me saying this, but when I asked those residents what’s missing there, they say the only thing that’s missing is a swimming pool.

“They are so impressed with what we’ve done.”

Yesterday (Wednesday), it emerged that a group of residents on the West Kentish Town Estate concerned by demolition plans had asked the committee to clarify Cllr Boyland’s comments and to identify which estates were only built to last 15 years – and what was the evidence he based this claim upon.

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