On a trip to South Acton today, UKIP Mayoral candidate Peter Whittle met with local residents in London’s biggest redevelopment who face being made homeless after reportedly being offered less than market value for their homes by Ealing Council. Peter Whittle, was joined by David Kurten, number 2 on London’s Assembly list and other UKIP activists on his trip to South Acton.
While the redevelopment of London's largest estate, South Acton, moves ahead, many of the current residents feel they are being left behind. Despite some of them having lived on the estate for a generation, they are being pressurised by the council and developers to accept well below market value for their homes which will leave them unable to buy anything in the redevelopment. There have been some reports of some residents receiving offers as little as 60% of market value and others who have been offered £100k less than the market value for their properties.
Before the General Election Angie Bray, the then Conservative MP for the area, and Rupa Huq, the then Labour candidate and now MP for the area, were supposedly very interested in the residents’ concerns but since May the residents have not heard a thing from their new Labour MP, and the Labour council have also lost interest.
Bob Little, a member of the Red Brick Residents Association said, "The current residents are part of the social fabric of this area yet the council just want to push us aside while they make as much money as possible. What happened to affordable housing and care for the elderly and building cohesive neighbourhoods?
"It is time for the council and the developers to put people before profit. Local people need to be included in all the planning discussions and not cast aside. Previous consultations have been a sham with only a handful of people turning up. They were purely a box ticking exercise that seeks to keep local residents in the dark."
Peter Whittle said, "Over 600,000 people have left London in the past decade as a result of soaring rent and house prices, and a lack of social services and it would seem to me that without swift action that many of those currently in South Acton could soon join them.
"I don't want Londoners to leave London. Each city has a life outside the economy, London should be more than just a balance sheet after all, and the fact people are being forced out of the capital because they can't afford to live here is just unacceptable.
"From what I’ve heard today the pressure for local residents here to sell their homes at less than market value is only exacerbating this ongoing problem, and I would call on the Council and the developers concerned to include the current residents of the South Acton estate in this redevelopment and, either, offer them a fair price for their homes or give them a like for like flat.
"I would echo the calls made by Bob Little, and others of the local Residents Association, and I would hope that the Council would take on board their eminently sensible suggestions."