Government pledges to regenerate sink estates to catalyse new building

The country’s “worst” council housing estates are set to be removed and replaced under new plans announced today by Prime Minister, David Cameron.

The Government has identified 100 housing estates across the country which it plans to either radically transform or, in the worst cases, knock down and replace with new homes.

A new £140m fund has been introduced to “jump-start” the regeneration projects, which will be available to community groups, councils and housing associations for the scheme.

“For decades, sink estates – and frankly, sometimes the people who lived in them – had been seen as something simply to be managed. It’s time to be more ambitious at every level.

“The mission here is nothing short of social turnaround, and with massive estate regeneration, tenants protected, and land unlocked for new housing all over Britain, I believe we can tear down anything that stands in our way,” said David Cameron.

The scheme will be supported by a new Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, which will be chaired by Lord Heseltine, the former Deputy Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said that this scheme could help to catalyse the building of new homes: “Tomorrow a report from Savills will show that this kind of programme could help to catalyse the building of hundreds of thousands of new homes in London alone. This is because existing estates were built at a lower density than many modern developments – poorly laid-out, with wasted open space that was neither park nor garden.

“So regeneration will work best in areas where land values are high, because new private homes, built attractively and at a higher density, will fund the regeneration of the rest of the estate.”

The Packington Estate in Islington, London has been held up as an example of the kind of transformation the Government hopes to achieve with this scheme. The estate, which previously consisted of 538 structurally defective flats, now provides 791 mixed-tenure houses and flats, 491 of which are for social rent.