I used to work in the social housing sector and did so for around twenty years.
In 2001, I visited the Sutton Estate in Chelsea regularly; not in connection with my duties in social housing. I find it hard to believe that these magnificent buildings are uneconomic to maintain and that decent homes standards cannot be achieved without massive upheaval or at the cost of an arm and a leg.
There are a number of similar Sutton estates throughout London. I would be surprised if Affinity Sutton would be comfortable arguing that as the Chelsea estate cannot be brought up to scratch, it logically follows that all of similar Sutton dwellings throughout London are not fit for purpose because decent homes standards cannot be achieved.
Is Affinity Sutton, by implication, saying that all of its other estates throughout London are not fit for purpose with demolition being the only answer?
Of course not.
The truth is that Affinity Sutton is lured by the large sums it will achieve by selling the land to a developer.
I was particularly struck by the sense of community on the Chelsea estate. It was spotlessly clean: there was no litter flying around any of the external areas on the estate which is in stark contrast to many Council estates in London. There was no household lumber piled up on the communal forecourt, something one sees far too often whenever visiting estates estates owned the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The internal communal areas of each block were well decorated, well lit and kept very clean. The residents took considerable pride in their flats.
I am very upset and disappointed that the Sutton estate in Chelsea is destined for the bulldozer. This bulldozing is nothing more than urban destruction.
Well done to The Victorian Society.