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Social landlords vie for big contract

Four housing associations are set to lock horns in a battle that will see the victor get permission to develop hundreds of new homes on part of a rundown housing estate. L&Q, Hyde Housing, Bouygues/Notting Hill Housing Group and Countryside Properties have all made the shortlist to develop the new homes which will be one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe.

The current properties were built in the 60s and 70s and the dismal estate is being completely transformed by Southwark Council. Demolition of the estate’s tower blocks began fourteen months ago but the project was stopped when the coalition withdrew the PFI grant. However, the council are determined to go ahead with the regeneration which will provide 4,200 new homes. Whichever social landlord is picked to develop the area, they will be looking for a cheap landlord property insurance quote before any tenant moves in.

The council wants the development to have a range of tenure and ownership options. They want new homes that are both attractive and affordable for local residents and they want properties that will be be suitable for a mixed community including elderly, families and vulnerable people who are all equally important. The council hope to make a final decision in April, and this week local people living on the estate have been given a first glimpse of the designs for the mixed-tenure development, which will include a number of affordable homes for locals who wish to get onto the property ladder.

Councillor Fiona Colley, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It’s important that the area retains its strong sense of community, so we want to make sure that the final design for the new homes on the site meets local people’s needs and aspirations for the area. We really value people’s feedback and look forward to working with a new partner to take on a high-profile and exciting vision for the future of this part of central London.”

Private landlords are not behind revamp of run down area

Private landlords in a part of Glasgow have surprised council leaders by not supporting a redevelopment plan for the area. Clune Park has suffered for some time from poor housing and poverty and it had been hoped that the owners of the properties would back the plan.

The regeneration plan would see over four-hundred homes demolished and rebuilt. However, flattening the properties and rebuilding would cost in excess of £15 million. A meeting was recently held with around twenty-five private landlords representing their interests as the owners of the majority of the vacant and tenanted properties. Although the great majority of the landlords revealed they had property insurance on the buildings, they were still worried they would lose out financially if the plans go ahead. Inverclyde Council officials and Ward 1 councillors also attended the meeting where all options to move the plans forward were revealed by the council.

A council spokesman said: “A full explanation of the strategy as set out in the regeneration plan was given and private landlords had the opportunity to question the officers and members on a wide range of topics arising out of the presentation on the plan. The majority of the landlords appeared to be very unsupportive of the plan, some of which are proposing to renovate their flats and suggest they would present renovation proposals to the council. It was agreed that private landlords would be kept apprised of progress as the plan is rolled out.”

A housing survey has been carried out showing both the occupied and unoccupied properties in the area. The council wants to identify whole blocks that can be issued with closing orders and demolished under housing legislation. Discussions have also been held with a social landlord whom the council would like to rehouse any tenant who needs to be moved out. The council has already committed £500,000 to the regeneration of the area.