The Latest on the Clays Lane Estate

Clays Lane housing estate in Stratford was built in the 1970s and was Europe’s second largest purpose built housing cooperative consisting of 450 units.

It is the subject of a Compulsory Purchase Order by the London Development Agency to make way for the 2012 Olympic site.

All residents were promised equivalent, if not better, housing.

The following has been written by one of the remaining residents Julian Cheyne:

Clays Lane tenants are informed that the Government is becoming annoyed with the LDA and CBHA, our housing managers, because they have not yet cleared the Clays Lane estate. At a briefing yesterday Mr Blacker of the LDA said he thought the LDA would have to evict ‘a handful’ of tenants. We understand the idea is they should ‘get tough’ with the remaining tenants as if they are in some way being recalcitrant.

Tenants are not refusing to co-operate with the relocation process. No-one is barricading themselves into their houses.

Some tenants have not yet been made an offer of accommodation. It has been agreed they should receive three ‘reasonable’ offers with a right to appeal if they are dissatisfied.

The LDA has already gone back on its original promises and promises made by the Mayor of London about the quality of accommodation they would be offered.

The LDA has had since 2003 to prepare for the relocation of tenants but failed to keep any of the timelines it set out in the Fluid report. Staff were only appointed to supervise the relocation in July and November 2005.

Some tenants will have to make temporary moves because of the failure of the LDA to organise particular kinds of moves.

Tenants are much worse off in financial terms and have lost their community and amenities with inadequate compensation. Some have smaller properties than they had at Clays Lane. The LDA has promised to ‘sustain’ communities. This community has been demolished.

Tenants have warned of the likelihood of the programme not delivering on time. It is unfair they should carry the cost of the failures of others.

‘Getting tough’ rather than investing properly in making the programme work just makes eviction more likely.