Save Wornington Green: Exclusive interview with an original architect of the estate

Councillor Emma Dent Coad with Peter Deakins

Everyday’s a good day to campaign on something you believe in. Even more so when it’s an issue as important as saving 1,700 residents homes in Wornington Green, at the top end of Portobello Road…

The Conservative-run borough’s planning committee decided last Tuesday to allow the 538 social rented houses on the estate to be knocked down over 12 years, to include 300 privately owned homes.

This is just another example of just how out-of-touch Borough planning is, when it comes to the community of North Kensington. Labour has backed local residents, who believe that knocking down the estate and displacing 1,700 people, to make way for an additionl 300 private homes fetching £300,000 for a 1 bedroom and £1.2 million for a town house, effectively ruins our community for a decade.

At the committee hearing, all of the Labour Councillors opposed the redevelopment and sided with the majority of residents. It is worth noting that every single Councillor that voted in favour of redevelopment were Conservatives. Even though North Kensington remains largely Labour, with no Conservative Councillors.

In response, Labour Councillor Emma Dent Coad, invited the architect of one of the 1960s blocks, Peter Deakins, to come down to Portobello this morning and speak about his views on the redevelopment plans.

Colville Ward candidate Amir Akhrif, was there to film the interview.

If you’d be so kind, do us a little favour next time you look at your street, whether you live on an estate or not. Ask yourself one simple question… “do you feel secure that the Council will protect your home against property developers?”….

After the Council’s decision last Tuesday, we don’t feel secure anymore. That’s why we need Councillors who can sit on these committees and make decisions that listen to local peoples views. That is what Labour intends to do. That is why we are standing for election in May. That is why we are asking for your vote.

“Power back to the people, not to the property developers”…

Written by Amir Akhrif. For more information, you can read his blog at http://amirakhrif.wordpress.com

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11 comments

  1. I have just had to fight off Derwent London a 2bn.Investment Trust who naturally go on about ‘regeneration’blah blah blah.They commodify even the sky,’the view’ the trees(which I saved when Virgin came here) the canal,they see none as these as desperately needed resource for folks who live in cramped places around here. The developers try to sell the notion of’ trendy ‘ Portobello without a deeper understanding,that it was built by a generation marching for the love and rights of different races,womens rights,workers rights etc its not just a bloody fashion statement.My son was at nursery when it was underneath Trellick Tower,when middle class ‘creatives’ struggled just as hard as born and bred locals and a mutual respect was born, we now all go way back .

    1. Absolutely!

      Our homes, our community and even our ‘views’, may just be commodities to property developers, but we must remember that their value has been created from nothing by generation after generation of local residents. All contributing in unison to create the communities we take pride in, and developers find so attractive.

      It’s great that people are politically active enough to claim ownership for their achievements. And I’m 100% right beside them as a local of North Kensington!.

  2. OMG ! Chris Grayling today blithering on about “broken Britain ” and bring back hanging and bad ‘estates’ on Jeremy Minor’s show BBC2 .Well I was brought up in Epsom,and give me Wornington Green ANY DAY OF THE WEEK ! I have walked through this ‘estate ‘several times a week since it was built .I HAVE NEVER SEEN OR EXPERIENCED ANY CRIME . OK ,bit of dealing by Moroccan kids, but nothing like the hoity toity rich white kids scoring in the neighborhood ,its their playground now …they don’t have children in school ,care about the process of integration,or have any vision , they will disappear once they have sown their wild oats, taken what they can,given nothing back.The local disenfranchised will take the wrap ,as they do countrywide.

  3. Amir – jusging my your views you appear to be either a communist or a very left wing socialist.So why have you joined the Labour Party? This Labour governemt have helped the super rich more than any Conservative governemnt in recent times. They have also create a bigger gap between rich and poor.

    So I fail to see why you have joined a party that you seem to have nothing in common with.

    Oh I forgot, it’s just a way for you to get into power.

    Harp on about some local causes but at the same time support a national party that destroys those things.

    Wornington Green needs to be redeveloped. Anyone can see that.

    And what’s wrong with private houses? Is is the part that makes me think you have communist tendancies. I though the Labour Party agreed with the right to private property. Most people in this country certainly do.

    1. Steve, not a communist, am a social democrat though, that is why I’m a member of the Labour Party. As for Labour helping the ‘super rich more than any Conservative government’… I wonder what Conservative government would ever have the balls to tax those with earnings over £100,000 at 50%?

      I don’t understand how you can say I’m left wing in one breath, and question why I would be a member of the Labour Party with another. I am a member because I am a social democrat and I believe that we can achieve more together than we can alone.

      There’s absolutely nothing wrong with private housing! I just take umbridge with a housing association who have used the poor state of repairs, through their own neglect, to justify temporarily displacing some 1,700 residents, many of whom will not return.

  4. Benedict Seymour on Post Katrina (Mute Mag. ) New Orleans,an ‘opportunity’ to socially cleanse the area ‘ hmmm what does that remind me of…..

  5. GENE HUNT, the clue is in the name. ( If anyone wants to be GOBSMACKED by Tory ‘values’ visit Telegraph blog )

  6. …you have to sign in to readers comments, ( one just said our hospitals are dirty because ‘foreign’ workers wipe their arse with their hand ! For the heart of racism just pick up the Telegraph then ,not just punk kids storming mosques in sink estates in the north. Integration is a slow and delicate business if some people still believe in God ,we can’t object to that but of course should guard against separatist tendencies,surely we can do that.

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