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Sadiq Khan launches bid to empower tenants in estate regeneration plans

The London mayor visited a Barnet estate with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Londoners living on social housing estates will be given more of a say on demolition plans in their communities under new proposals to protect homes by Sadiq Khan.

Launching the first City Hall guide to regeneration on a housing estate in Barnet, the mayor of London said there would be mandatory ballots of residents for schemes where any demolition is planned as a strict condition of his funding.

Mr Khan said the Better Homes for Local People guide seeks to empower tenants, leaseholders and freeholders in developing regeneration plans with landlords, although the mayor has limited sway when it comes to estate regeneration.

Launching the guide, Mr Khan said: “We need more social housing in London, not less, which is why I will use all my powers to make sure that any plans for estate regeneration protect existing social housing and take every opportunity to build more.

“My guide sets out how I will use my investment powers in a way they have never been used before, by requiring resident support through a ballot for new plans involving demolition where City Hall funding is involved.

“I want to make sure people living on social housing estates, who have the greatest interest in their future, are at the heart of any decisions from the outset.

“By involving residents and putting social housing first, we can make sure plans for estate regeneration help build a city for all Londoners.”

Ballots will apply to schemes funded by the mayor’s office which involve the construction of at least 150 homes.

Mr Khan denied suggestions that a lack of support from residents – and therefore no financial commitment from City Hall – would result in developers simply sourcing the money elsewhere.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who joined Mr Khan in Barnet, said: “Regeneration must put local people first, not property speculators.

“Labour is committed to giving residents the right to a ballot across the country so that when we’re in government we can deliver real regeneration for the many not the few.”

Paul Scully, Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam, said: “In caving in to pressure from the hard left, Sadiq Khan has shown he is more interested in playing politics than delivering on his promises to Londoners.

“He promised 80,000 new homes a year, the Government has given him the money to build 90,000 affordable homes, yet he has barely started building any homes at all.

“This ideologically driven decision will mean fewer decent homes for Londoners.”

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