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Broken promises' over towerblocks

PUBLISHED: 12:58 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:49 25 August 2010

COUNCILLORS have been blasted for failing to act on plans to rebuild aging tower blocks.

COUNCILLORS have been blasted for failing to act on plans to rebuild aging tower blocks.

Petrina Sargent, 21, of Morris Walk Estate, Woolwich, was told in 2007 of proposals to demolish 1,000 units on three Woolwich estates to build better homes.

Greenwich council is spending millions on redeveloping Woolwich town centre ahead of the Olympics, but the student said her neighbours had heard nothing of plans for her estate.

The North Kent College drama student said: "It's infuriating. We've heard nothing.

"There is a lot of redevelopment going on in Woolwich for young professionals they want to attract to the area.

"But people who have been living on estates like this for years are being overlooked, and it's not fair."

As part of its £220 million Decent Homes strategy, homes on the Connaught, Morris Walk and Maryon Grove estates were due to be rebuilt.

The council had predicted to start discussing redevelopment plans six months ago and for demolition to start in February 2011.

It now says that 2011 was not a deadline set in stone, leaving residents stuck in old accommodation.

Miss Sargent added: "I feel like the Labour councillors are pushing us aside.

"They are very interested in things like getting the DLR up and running because it brings in money, but when it comes to tenants, they put the rent up without improving conditions.

"I really feel like the Labour Party has forgotten whose interests it set out to look after."

Spencer Drury, leader of the Conservatives on Greenwich council and prospective parliamentary candidate for Woolwich, blamed 'council inactivity' for the delay.

He said: "Despite planning to borrow £30m to reach the Decent Homes target for Council homes across the borough, 1,000 homes in Woolwich will be left untouched.

"It now appears likely that no official plan will appear during 2009 and 2010 is earliest time that residents can expect to see any action to improve the estates where they live."

Greenwich council reported it has made 'good progress' in buying back leasehold properties.

A spokesman added: "The council continues to maintain the estates and we are in regular dialogue with tenant representatives from the three estates."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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