Larner Road estate in Erith pulled down
PUBLISHED: 15:51 05 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 April 2013
More than 200 residents came to see the demolition of the Larner Road estate in Erith today.
Throughout the day families enjoyed a selection of free Easter week activities, including an acrobat troupe and live Zulu music from the Majuba Drummers as the first tower block was knocked down by a crane called the nibbler.
It was the next stage in a £100 million regeneration project which aims to transform the area, part-funded by the Greater London Authority and co-developers Orbit South and Wates.
The latter’s site manager Lawrence Baxter described the scheme as one of the biggest in Britain and the first homes are expected to be ready by early 2015.
Five of the seven tower blocks will be demolished in the first phase of the project, which will create 343 of the final total of 620 homes.
Resident Rosemary White, 80, has lived on the Larner Road estate for 32 years. She said: “Having lived in my flat in Pretoria House for almost half my life it was an emotional occasion.
“But you have to move with the times. Buildings get past their sell-by date and it’s an exciting project.”
Caroline Field, project regeneration manager, added: “We hope it will transform the area from the least desirable in Erith to the most. The plans look spectacular and we aim to make them reality.
“It’s not a question of we hope the homes will be ready by early 2015 - they have to be.”