Take a hard look at policy

Thursday, 4th August

camden28 Image 2022-07-28 at 9.17.23 PM

Plans to demolish the West Kentish Town Estate

• YOUR July 28 report (Demolition of 1960s estate will change the face of Kentish Town, July 28) included quotations from younger people who lived on the West Kentish Town estate made at the cabinet meeting.

They highlighted the lack of maintenance of the estate and absence of repairs. But what the article did not mention was that the cost of the project had risen from £300million to almost, with dire warnings of much higher costs, £570million. All this for what is reported to be only 12 extra council rent homes.

One of the young persons will be 34 years old even if the project is completed in time by the date put back six years to 2040. The much smaller Kiln Place project was over three years late.

The WKT project is already over four years old with endless consultations. The cost over-runs at Kiln Place and Cherry Court, much smaller sites, was said to be at least £27million.

Nor does the article mention that similar promises of new homes were made to all the residents of Bacton Low Rise a decade ago, but many are still waiting as no building work has even started on this very large site.

We desperately need council-rent homes in our area but as Camden’s own scrutiny report indicated the Community Investment Programme is not meeting these objectives.

Yet here we are starting to plan yet another build. The present CIP strategy seems more and more like “Get out of the way iceberg, here comes the Titanic”.

I am no great fan of consultants, but surely what is needed here is a properly independent analysis of the council’s housing policies, maintenance, repairs and CIP building plans. Perhaps the council is hoping HMS Truss will come to the rescue.


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