London’s massive Ocean estate sinks under wave of demolition

DEMOLITION men have swung into action to pull down one of London’s biggest public housing estates. The diggers moved into Stepney’s run-down Ocean Estate yesterday as the first building was demolished to make way for new flats for families on Tower Hamlets’ waiting list

By Victoria Huntley

DEMOLITION men have swung into action to pull down one of London’s biggest public housing estates to clear the way for new homes.

The diggers moved into Stepney’s run-down Ocean Estate yesterday (Tuesday) as the first building was demolished to make way for new flats for families on Tower Hamlets’ waiting list.

The estate is about to undergo a total regeneration where up to 700 new and replacement homes are being built, with another 1,200 flats being refurbished.

The demolition began at Aden House, the first of 11 blocks to be knocked down.

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Tower Hamlets council’s housing lead councillor Marc Francis said: “This demolition is a significant milestone in the history of the Ocean. We’ve been working towards this day for nearly a decade.”

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It has not been a smooth road for the estate, which voted to remain under council control and reject being switched three years ago to private social landlords.

It resulted in the Government’s New Deal’ investment being withdrawn until a U-turn last year saw policies switch back to more council housing investment.

Plans for the Ocean now include a revamped town centre’ around Stepney’s Ben Johnson Road with shops, community facilities and better outdoor spaces, which is expected to total �200m.

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