A panel will look at how the layout of deprived estates can be best regenerated and reused to deliver more quality homes for Britain.

New tenants rights will be at the heart of the regeneration of some of the country’s most deprived estates, Lord Heseltine said this week (9 February 2016).

A panel, who met for the first time today, will look at how the layout of estates can be best used to deliver more quality homes that people can buy and rent.

The experts will also ensure that there are strong protections in place for existing residents so they will always be given the right to return to their communities.

The 17-strong group, co-chaired by Lord Heseltine and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis and reporting to the Prime Minister and Communities Secretary Greg Clark, will develop a national estate regeneration strategy and work with up to 100 estates to tackle deprivation and transform them into vibrant communities.

The Prime Minister announced last month that £140 million would be made available to jump-start the regeneration. The loan funding will allow communities to lever in investment from the public and private sector to deliver ambitious projects that local people can be proud of.

Lord Heseltine said “Estates regeneration is key to transforming the lives of people living on poorly designed housing projects. The panel will provide expert advice, support and explore innovative funding solutions to drive forward the regeneration of estates around the country.”

“However, I am clear that this has to be locally led and we must work with the residents of such estates. I now want to see local communities coming forward with innovative ideas to achieve desirable neighbourhoods that local people can be proud of.”

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said “We know these estates offer huge potential to be revived so that they become thriving communities and places which people want to live and work in.”

“This panel provides a wealth of experience to kick-start work that will help transform the lives of thousands of people by delivering better homes in better estates.”

The panel met at the York Road Estate in Battersea, London where plans are being developed for a major regeneration scheme.

Wandsworth Council leader and panel member Ravi Govindia said “I’m delighted to join panel and to play a part in unlocking the great potential of our country’s housing estates.”

“Here in Battersea we are demonstrating that estate regeneration can be done with the support of the local community. Our approach is centred firmly on improving the lives of Winstanley and York estate residents and to providing new opportunities and better life chances.”

Future meetings will be held at estates across the country. Members are:

  • Councillor Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council
  • Nicholas Boys Smith, director of Create Streets, a social enterprise and independent research institute which pushes for well designed estates
  • Andrew Boff, leader of the Greater London Authority Conservatives housing group
  • Elaine Bailey, chief executive, from Hyde Housing Association, which successfully regenerated the Packington Estate in Islington
  • Paul Tennant, chief executive from Orbit Housing Association, which successfully regenerated Erith Estate in Bexley
  • Tony Pidgley, chief executive of Berkeley Homes – a lead partner on various estate regenerations across London
  • Peter Vernon, chief executive of Grosvenor Estates
  • Jane Duncan, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • Ben Bolgar, director of Design Theory and Networks at the Prince’s Foundation
  • Dominic Grace, head of London Residential Development at estates agents Savills
  • Emma Cariaga from the British Land and Thames Valley Housing Association
  • David Budd, Mayor of Middlesbrough
  • Natalie Elphicke, chief executive of the Housing & Finance Institute
  • Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham North
  • Felicie Krikler, associate director at Assael Architecture

The group will now work with a range of local stakeholders, including communities, local authorities, landlords, investors, builders, housing associations, and anyone else with ideas and ambition. It will draw up the national strategy for estate regeneration by the autumn. Its objectives include:

  • providing strong protection for existing residents, such as rights of return
  • delivering more homes for rent and ownership
  • delivering homes more quickly
  • promote high standards of design to provide commercially viable schemes which have the potential to be self-financing
  • encouraging and attracting more private and public sector investment to help regenerate estates

Britain is building again with the number of new homes up 25% in the past year and revived estates will play an important part in providing good quality social and affordable housing, and offering people the chance to achieve their dream of home ownership.

Wandsworth Council has announced ambitious plans to regenerate the neighbouring York Road and Winstanley Estates in Battersea, which will see more than 2,000 new home built. A range of affordable homes will provided for people to buy or rent at below market rates and the number of social rent properties will increase.