April 2 2015 - Housing activists pull down fences surrounding Aylesbury estate, London, England. Southwark council spent £140,000 building a massive ‘Berlin Wall-style’ metal-spiked fence around a housing estate in south London. The Council splashed £200 per metre on the 8ft-high, 700 metre-long eyesore surrounding four blocks on the Aylesbury Estate.Council bosses, who have been facing protests over the estate’s planned demolition, claimed the hoarding was put up for the safety of residents.But residents told the Standard they were furious about being penned in behind the wall and left with only one access point to their homes, manned by private security.
Residents at the Aylesbury Estate are losing their homes in a deal between the local authority and Notting Hill Housing (NHH). Southwark call it regeneration, the residents call it social cleansing. They claim they are being pressured into accepting below market rate and risk being priced out of the area.
The gradual removal of social housing (and its residents) in favour of building more flats for offshore investors increasingly points toward eradicating the mixed communities London has always had. The most important question councils should be asking is who benefits from this regeneration? If the residents come pretty low down that list, surely a rethink is needed.