Deprived housing estate revamp given go-ahead

A MULTI-MILLION pound revamp of the biggest housing estate in London s East End were given the green light last night.

By Else Kvist

A MULTI-MILLION pound revamp of the biggest housing estate in London's East End were given the green light last night.

But residents who say they were not consulted about the plans for Stepney's 1950s Ocean Estate will now be seeking a judicial review.

Labour councillors voted through long-awaited regeneration plans for one of Britain's most deprived housing estates last night despite hundreds of people protesting ahead of the development committee meeting.

A mixture of residents and local business people held up placards outside Tower Hamlets Town Hall. Most were not against the �240 million housing estate revamp but against parts of the plans, such as demolition of the Lifra community hall and a seven storey tower block being built along the Regents Canal conservation area.

There were also concerns about overcrowding and pressure on local services such as schools and GPs, and lack of children's play spaces and parking.

Shopkeepers whose premises are being demolished complained of not being given any assurances about compensation and whether they will be able to return to Ben Jonson Road once a new shopping parade has been built.

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But inside the meeting another group of residents held up posters in support of the regeneration plans saying "It's our turn!"

Chair of the Ocean's residents association, Brenda Daley, told the committee she saw the estate going up and look forward to it being knocked down. "It's our turn to have a decent place to live," she said.

The Labour councillors on the committee voted through the plans while Tower Hamlet's Liberal Democrat leader Stephanie Easton and Tory leader Peter Golds voted against. Cllr Golds said after the meeting that the lack of consultation had been a disaster and put the council in a bad light.

An amendment to the plans was passed, which promised to consider compensation for shopkeepers and their return to the shopping parade.