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Plans for Arthur Street estate to go before council

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 January 2019

An artist's impression of how the regenerated development could look. Photo: LDRS/Orbit

An artist's impression of how the regenerated development could look. Photo: LDRS/Orbit

Archant

Plans for a huge regeneration project at a 1960s Erith estate have finally been submitted for approval.

An aerial view of the estate. Photo: LDRS/OrbitAn aerial view of the estate. Photo: LDRS/Orbit

The redevelopment of the Arthur Street Estate has long been in the works and is set to be carried out by housing association Orbit.

Orbit is planning to bulldoze three 13-storey tower blocks and low-rise flats, claiming they are “no longer meeting modern standards.”

Housing bosses have now submitted their scheme which will have 320 homes built across five blocks, all between three and nine storeys.

Orbit said the redevelopment is needed as the estate has been plagued with crime and anti-social behaviour, not fixed by previous attempts to revitalise the area.

An aerial view of the estate. Photo: LDRS/OrbitAn aerial view of the estate. Photo: LDRS/Orbit

To facilitate the redevelopment, the council is planning on using its power to compulsorily purchase homes, likely to be carried out in May.

The development would however lead to a loss of 133 socially rented homes, being replaced with a “mixed tenure community” made up of 80 per cent affordable housing.

Orbit has said in its planning statement there is a need for “sustainable tenure”, and a “programme approach” has been proposed where social rents will be provided over a series of other developments.

In December, opposition leader Daniel Francis expressed concerns over what he said would be a loss in socially rented homes.

He said at a full council meeting: “There’s a real concern that will have a direct impact on the availability of social housing.

“Our concern is the cause that will have on the number of homeless families and the extra pressure that will put on our homeless budget if we are losing socially rented homes.”

Plans submitted this week will be considered by officers at the council before being referred to councillors later this year.

Orbit’s planning application said: “Our vision is to create a new residential neighbourhood to the meet the needs of a wide range of people.

“The new neighbourhood will have a distinct character and identity; will be an attractive place which is integrated with its immediate neighbours and the wider communities of Erith and Slade Green.

“The quality of Arthur Street will help to transform perceptions of Erith and Slade Green and will stimulate the market for well-designed homes set in a high-quality environment, demonstrating the success of regeneration.”

Erith has been earmarked by Bexley Council as an area for regeneration in its ambitious growth strategy, which aims to have more than 30,000 homes built in the borough by 2050.

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