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Crown Estate changes rules to guarantee lettings to key workers

PUBLISHED: 19:00 09 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:08 05 October 2010

THE Crown Estate has changed its rules to guarantee 90 per cent of all new lettings go to key workers if the controversial sale of its freeholds goes ahead, its chairman told the London Assembly. The assurance was given over plans to put the freehold on the open market

By Mike Brooke

THE Crown Estate has changed its rules to guarantee 90 per cent of all new lettings go to key workers if the controversial sale of its freeholds goes ahead, its chairman told the London Assembly.

The assurance was given by Sir Stuart Hampson to the Assembly’s housing committee over plans to put the freeholds of the Victoria Park Estate in East London on the open market, along with three other Crown estates at Cumberland Market in Camden, Millbank and Lee Green.

The plan caused a public outcry earlier this year and was raised in Parliament by former Bethnal Green & Bow MP George Galloway in March.

Crown Estate decided to go ahead with the sale despite protests from key worker’ families worried about their tenancy security.

But Sir Stuart gave assurances to the Assembly that new conditions imposed on any potential sale would protect existing tenants, though the pledge fell short of extending security to new tenants.

He promised 90 per cent of new lettings would continue to go to key workers under any new owner who would take over the properties subject to existing tenancies.

One-in-three households are on regulated tenancies’ which means their rents are determined by the Rent Officer. The remaining tenancies would be “subject to ongoing arrangements.”

The Crown Estate board also agreed to pay residents’ legal expenses to take independent advice to protect their rights after any sale.


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