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Kensington and Chelsea Council pauses schemes

Kensington and Chelsea Council has paused several major regeneration projects, including an estate neighbouring Grenfell Tower, following last month’s tragic fire.

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Kensington and Chelsea pauses regeneration schemes

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Plans to regenerate 500-home Silchester West were still in their consultancy and planning stages before the fire, although the borough has already spent £200,000 on an options appraisal for the plans.

The borough also had several smaller regeneration projects at various stages of planning and implementation including Barlby and Treverton, Trellick Tower and Edenham Way, Pembroke Road, and four smaller council-owned blocks in north Kensington.

At a meeting with residents earlier this month, Laura Johnson, director for housing at Kensington and Chelsea Council, discussed restarting the consultations afresh following the fire.

The council’s cabinet had approved an options appraisal for Silchester in July 2016 examining three possible approaches for the future of the estate. These included both partial and full redevelopment options – and looking at the possibilities of including neighbouring land in new development.

A council spokesperson said: “We were halfway through this options appraisal, [but] given the circumstances, it would have been deeply inconsiderate to the community to go ahead.

“All work now on this has ceased, with resources diverted to help with residents affected by [the fire at] Grenfell Tower. If the options appraisal were to restart on Silchester, it would be in response to what residents wanted – likely to be resident-led and with a test of opinion such as a ballot.”

Piers Thompson, a campaigner opposed to the demolition of the estate, said: “We’ve had anxiety about our homes for eight years now. These schemes need to be aimed at the needs of existing residents, not the construction industry. Successful development needs to be resident led.”

The fire at Grenfell Tower killed at least 80 people, with the cladding installed during a refurbishment later found to be flammable.

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