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1981 and is now a member of The Elephant Amenity Network (a coalition of local groups including tenants, leaseholders, and retailers, fighting for a regeneration that would actually benefit local people). He recalls: “We were one of the first families to move in and we were pleased because we came from a place which didn’t have amenities of any kind – no heating, no hot water, no kitchen. So Heygate was a reasonable place to live.”


The council’s regeneration scheme for Elephant and


18


Castle was presented to both tenants and leaseholders under the motto: “New homes for Heygate residents.” Shiny brochures were circulated, where the council consistently pointed out that the “residents were at the heart of the regeneration.” Tenants were offered like-for-like swaps and leaseholders were offered an attractive ‘retained equity’ option on the new homes.


None of these promises were kept. In effect, because of the time between the start and end of the regeneration


programme, the community has been scattered throughout the borough and far beyond it.


Jerry Flynn comments: “What everyone agreed on was that whatever the council did, we would stay where we were. Sixty percent of people still wanted to live in Heygate. The residents were only put at the heart of the regeneration programme for as long as Southwark Council needed their approval. Once there were delays with rehousing sites, Southwark decided to move people off the estate,


before they were built, without any consultation with them. They behaved very cynically.”


The new housing proposed by the council will consist of 2,500 new units providing accommodation for up to 4,000 people. There will be a 25 percent affordable housing allocation as per Southwark Council’s guidelines. The key word here, though, is affordable. A very misleading term that comprises everything from studio flats to key worker homes, but does not guarantee Heygate tenants rehousing.


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