The Carpenters Estate,
Information about the Carpenters
Newham Council announces end of negotiations with UCL
for the Carpenters Estate, Stratford
have ended negotiations without agreement regarding the proposed
University College London (UCL) development at the Carpenters
Estate. Read the full
The Carpenters Estate, Stratford, located in the north west of
Newham, was built in 1967 and includes three of Newham Council's
largest tower blocks - James Riley Point, Lund Point and Dennison
Point. It also contains homes with gardens, smaller blocks of
flats, a school, a college and a number of local businesses.
In the late 1990s tenants and leaseholders on the estate took on
responsibility for managing the estate through the formation of the
Carpenters Tenant Management Organisation (TMO). Carpenters TMO is
responsible for repairs and maintenance, caretaking, tenancy
management and grounds maintenance. It also manages the community
hall on the Carpenters Estate.
A Joint Residents Steering Group (JRSG) is the elected
representative body through which tenants, leaseholders and
freeholders engage with the council regarding the long-term
regeneration ambitions for the neighbourhood.
Proposals for regeneration of the Carpenters Estate have been under
consideration since 2000/1. A number of proposals have been
presented to residents since that time. The last proposals -
presented in 2008 - were cancelled due to a lack of investment
funds due to the global economic crisis.
By 2004 it had become apparent that the estate was falling into
disrepair and needed significant refurbishment to bring it up to a
modern standard and maintain it.
After analysing the associated costs, it was clear that this would
be an expensive process costing up to £25 million per tower. In
2004, a Newham Cabinet Report recommended decanting and demolishing
James Riley Point in order to release land which could be developed
to generate income to subsidise the maintenance of the other two
The Cabinet recommendation was approved and the decant process
began. Housing services worked with local urban planners to develop
a master plan for the two remaining blocks and the locality.
In 2006/7, Newham Council engaged with the Greater London Authority
to see if forward funding could be secured for the blocks but
ultimately they were considered too expensive to refurbish.
The start of the economic downturn compounded this issue.
While the refurbishment itself was costly, it would also incur
additional costs through the implementation of new building
regulations. The tower block buildings have a skeleton of asbestos
which is buried underneath the concrete skin. Any works carried out
would require decanting residents while the works were being
carried out. Lund Point and Dennison Point both required additional
work to seal the asbestos for the future as the cladding was
Many residents of Lund Point and Dennison Point were leaseholders
who had purchased their properties through the Right to Buy scheme.
Some now own a portfolio of properties. Leaseholders would have
been individually liable for the cost of the proposed major
refurbishment works required, estimated to cost individual
leaseholders approximately £120,000 per property valued at
The Council took the view that it would not be acceptable to ask
leaseholders to pay for major works that would not add anywhere
near the equivalent value to their property. It was also, however,
not acceptable to expect residents to live in substandard
accommodation in deterioration.
A modernisation programme for new kitchens and bathrooms was also
unfeasible as the exterior of the block required significant work
and offset the benefits of a limited upgrade programme.
The asbestos in the blocks has been made safe and remains so. The
vast majority of it is inaccessible as it is embedded in concrete.
Any areas which have been breached have been legally tagged and the
asbestos safely removed. Any structural work to the blocks would
risk exposing it.
Between 2004 and 2009 the council engaged in consultation with
residents via the Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) and
exhausted a number of possible options to refurbish the blocks.
Every option was prohibitively expensive as the necessary costs
outweighed the value of leaseholders' properties and council owned
Following a public meeting with residents in 2008, a recommendation
was agreed at Cabinet in 2009 to decant and demolish Lund Point,
Dennison Point and a smaller block, Doran Walk. This was in
addition to the decision in 2004 to decant and demolish James Riley
Many residents have now left the Carpenters Estate through our
decant programme, mainly to homes in Stratford and surrounding
areas of Newham. More than three quarters of residents from homes
in the towers have now been decanted with 70% rehoused within the
The council has worked with residents in specific properties,
including the tower blocks, to help residents find an alternative
property of their choice that meets their specific needs.
The Carpenters Residents Charter outlines the council's commitment
to residents who are affected by the rehousing from the Carpenters
The TMO with an Independent Tenant Advisor has facilitated the
running of a Residents Steering Group. They ensured that residents
were engaged throughout the process and have worked with the
council on agreeing and updating the Residents Charter. The TMO has
also formally represented a number of concerns on behalf of the
The charter promises that no rehoused residents will be worse off
and offers a generous compensation and removal package. Tenants
will be prioritised on the council's housing waiting list with
preference for properties in Stratford, including East Village (the
Athletes Village on the Olympic Park).
Resident leaseholders and freeholders will be offered full market
value plus 10%, while non-resident leaseholders and freeholders are
entitled to full market value plus 7.5%. All residents will have
access to independent advice.
The charter also guarantees residents the Right to Return. This
means that residents will be decanted to new accommodation of their
choice and will then be able to choose to return once the
redevelopment of the estate is complete subject to
Resident's Charter is available to download here.
On 16 December 2010 the Mayor of Newham approved the Stratford
Metropolitan Masterplan as a strategic statement for the
regeneration of the Stratford area including the existing town
centre, Stratford City and the Olympic Site after the 2012
The Masterplan was developed through a year-long process involving
widespread consultation and option testing. The plan is supported
by a range of background studies including a detailed evidence
base, a sustainability appraisal, a transport study and a community
The Masterplan sets out the Council's ambition for Stratford to be
transformed into an integrated Metropolitan Centre for East London
offering new opportunities for Newham residents including 46,000
new jobs, 20,000 new homes, eight new schools, new shops, leisure
facilities and local services and better walking routes and
One of the early development opportunities identified in the
Masterplan was The Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood.
The masterplan is available on our
Stratford Metropolitan Masterplan page.
In November 2011 the council and University College London (UCL)
announced that they would explore the establishment of a new
university quarter for UCL within the Greater Carpenters
Read the press release here.
Under the original agreement signed by UCL and the council, both
parties had six months to progress proposals for development. The
original agreement was subsequently extended to September 2012 to
offer UCL sufficient time to further develop its vision for the
future of the neighbourhood.
UCL has now produced a
vision for Carpenters Estate (pdf) that sees potential for
research, teaching and residential facilities. On 25 October 2012
Newham Council's Cabinet agreed in principle to a proposal put
forward by University College London (UCL) for a £1 billion scheme
to develop a new university quarter in the Greater Carpenters
Neighbourhood. This allowed for commercial discussions to commence
between Newham Council and UCL.
Following lengthy and intensive negotiations, Newham Council have
now ended negotiations with UCL without agreement regarding the
proposed development on Carpenters Estate.
Newham Council remains committed to redeveloping the estate and
will now explore other options to take this forward. A number of
parties have expressed an interest in working with the council, but
these were not pursued while UCL and Newham Council were in
exclusive negotiations. The council will now open discussions with
those and other interested parties.
The council will continue to work closely with the Joint Resident
Steering Group and will keep residents on the estate informed on
The council is clear that any proposal will have to honour the
recently agreed new
In 2005 London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games and
Paralympic Games. Broadcasters and journalists started to plan
their coverage of the events, the focus being Newham.
The predominantly empty blocks towering over the Olympic site were
quickly identified as offering an opportunity for media coverage of
In 2008, the BBC was granted a lease to use the empty roof area of
Lund Point for filming in the run up to and during the 2012 Games.
This was agreed with the TMO and they have worked alongside the BBC
In 2012, Al Jazeera took a lease to use the empty roof area of
Dennison Point for their Olympic studio.
As part of the agreement with these and other media organisations,
the council emphasised that all activities were run with minimal
inconvenience to the remaining residents.
For residents, there were benefits to empty flats in their blocks
being leased out to media during Games Time - including increased
security. Some residents also used this opportunity to lease out
their properties on the Carpenters Estate to media representatives
during the Games.
Commercial arrangements such as the temporary agreement with the
BBC are focused on bringing the best value for the council by
maximising revenue through the Olympics programme. This revenue
will be reinvested into services for residents.
As of September 2012 the residential status of the tower blocks is
Residential of the Carpenters
tower blocks - September 2012.
|James Riley Point
More than three quarters of residents from homes in the three
towers have now been decanted with 70% rehoused within the E15
This has been a long and considered process by the council who have
investigated and exhausted numerous options to arrive at the
decision to decant and demolish James Riley Point, Lund Point,
Dennison Point and Doran Walk as part of the wider regeneration of
the Carpenters estate.