Islington Council slammed for backtracking on award-winning Holloway estate plan

Andover Estate

Andover Estate - Credit: Archant

Residents say they were promised leading role in regeneration project they spent four years planning

Andover Garages to Residential Convrsion and Home Zone

Andover Garages to Residential Convrsion and Home Zone - Credit: Archant

Award-winning designs for one of Islington’s most deprived estates are being hijacked by the council, residents have said.

A forum made up of Andover Estate residents spent four years putting together a development plan at the behest of Islington Council, which won a prestigious Placemaking Award in 2013.

The Andover Future Forum were asked to come up with a scheme for 20 homes, but their plan – which includes facilities for young people and a health centre, – would create 140 extra homes at the estate which already houses about 2,500 residents.

But despite the scheme’s successes the chair of the board set up to deliver the scheme says the town hall is planning to go its own way on the multi-million pound regeneration of the estate.

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The council are currently looking for an “experienced design team” and say they will carry out an “extensive consultation” with the community.

But Richard Schunemann, chair of the Andover Future Forum, said that an award winning design was already in place and that the forum made up of 50 residents held eight consultations over the design process.

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Mr Schunemann said: “The council wants the homes but doesn’t want to embrace the social aspects.

“This community knows that it needs, knows what it wants and is not willing to put up with years of building work without addressing the pressing problems facing families living here.

“We don’t want to be consulted – we already met more than 40 times to come up with the plans.”

Mr Schunemann also criticised the council’s decision to set up a “steering group” including residents as appose to the delivery board which he says was promised.

Maxine Holdsworth, the council’s housing needs and strategy service director, said: “Improving the estate, as well as building much-needed new homes for local people is vital and the design brief for the estate clearly includes the need for community regeneration.

“The brief also makes clear references to the importance of the Andover Estate Development Plan, which was drawn up with local residents.

“Absolutely nothing will happen on the Andover Estate without extensive consultation and input from the people who live there.”

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