Residents launch People’s Plan for improvements and new homes without demolition

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We are proud to present the People’s Plan for improvements and new homes without demolition. These are still early proposals but they demonstrate that demolition of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates (which a majority of residents have consistently  opposed) is simply not necessary.

So far over one hundred of us have come together to identify how we want to develop our estates and improve our homes in the future. We have enlisted professionally accredited architects, valuers and quantity surveyors to show that what we want is possible. The project has been funded by the Nationwide Foundation as part of its support for initiatives to develop alternative models for creating new affordable housing.

Here is a summary of the People’s Plan. And here is the architects report.

What are we proposing?

Brochre bird's eye view

Diagram above based on designs by ASH

There are currently 760 homes on the estates. We are proposing to build 250 new homes where we have identified space. By selling 180 of these, we could generate £50 million to help pay for the improvements and 70 new homes for social rent.

Most of the new homes for social rent would be family size houses, but some would be bungalows for elderly and disabled residents. These new homes would help address overcrowding on the estates and suit tenants looking to down-size. Most of the homes for sale would be built in new storeys above, and extensions to, existing blocks of housing.

Proposed improvements include: better insulation and ventilation; upgraded bins and refuse systems; glazed balconies to add space to the one bedroom flats in the tower blocks; upgraded communal areas; better control of green space; better security; enhanced landscaping with a new community garden and allotments.

In addition, we are proposing an estate-based housing office and a new community centre for both estates. And, we would re-instate the concierge scheme for Fairburn and Churchward Houses.

The Chairs of the two Tenants and Residents Associations, Sally Taylor and Diana Belshaw, and the Chair of West Ken Gibbs Green Community Homes, Keith Drew, said: “As the residents, we think it should be for us to choose what sort of future we have for our community. The People’s Plan is far better than the scheme the developer wants to impose on us. It shows that the vision we have been campaigning for since 2009 can be achieved. ”

How long would it take?

We have been advised that our proposals could be completed within five years of obtaining the necessary permissions – far less time than it would take for the developer to demolish and redevelop the estates. The People’s Plan could be implemented either by the residents through West Ken Gibbs Green Community Homes, if we succeed in taking ownership of the estates through the Right to Transfer, or by working with Hammersmith & Fulham Council and the Mayor for London should the developer-led scheme fail.

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Tell us what you think!

These are still early proposals: please get in touch and tell us what you think! You can find us on Twitter @WestKenGibbsGr #ThePeoplesPlan or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/westkengibbsgreen or by joining the Facebook group ‘Save our Homes: West Kensington and Gibbs Green’.

If you live on or near the estates, please get in touch to find out about drop-in sessions in July and August (when the model of the proposals will be on display) or to arrange a visit to explain the plans. Alternatively, a copy of the feedback form can be downloaded by clicking here. You can contact our Housing Organiser Zoe on 07754 701 636 or email zoe.wkggch@gmail.com.

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