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York Way Estate development: Neighbours fear ‘much-needed’ new homes could create ‘tale of two estates’

PUBLISHED: 16:08 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 18:22 13 January 2020

York Way Estate. Picture: Google Maps

York Way Estate. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

Neighbours fear plans to build new homes in King’s Cross will create a “second class” tier of flats on their estate.

Tenants have created a petition, signed by more than 220 people, which opposes the City of London Corporation's expansion of the York Way Estate.

Tenants have created a petition, signed by more than 220 people, which opposes the City of London Corporation's expansion of the York Way Estate.

They say it could lead to overcrowding, pollution, destruction of green spaces and a lower quality of life for occupants.

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The corporation has run consultations and set up a resident steering group to involve neighbours in its plan to provide "much-needed homes" . It could build as many as 100 homes on the estate, which now has 250. This could accommodate a fraction of the, 14,000 households on Islington's waiting list.

But the petition claims the corporation struggles to maintain its existing housing stock, with heating and window repairs allegedly long overdue. The campaigners oppose the expansion outright, claiming plans could destroy the "original and unique 1960s design of the estate". The Corporation did not directly respond to these points when approached for comment.

One objector, leaseholder Max Fras, 38, an international development consultant, said: "The current housing stock is going to end up as a second class part in a tale of two estates. Because they are new buildings they will be generally nicer and better and they're not promising [to maintain the old flats to the same standards as the new ones]. It's not crumbling as far as London estates go - and that's a pretty low bar - it's not that bad, but we can't see how overcrowding it more and building more properties can appear better suited than maintaining what's currently there."

A City of London of Corporation spokesperson said: "We are listening closely to [residents'] needs and aspirations for the estate and any decisions about the proposals will take their views fully into account."

Housing chief Cllr Diarmaid Ward said he has heard some good ideas about how to build more flats on the estate, but hasn't seen the petition yet and would gladly sit down with neighbours.

He said: "Our top priority is building council homes, it's a desperate need. But we have always done things working with our residents to get the best possible outcome for everybody. We have to work with our residents and that's what I would like to see on the estate."


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