Robin Hood rebel’ emerges to save brutal concrete’ estate
PUBLISHED: 21:34 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:32 05 October 2010
A BAND of rebel tenants have begun a controversial 11th hour bid to stop their concrete housing estate being bulldozed after top architects failed to save it. The tenants want to preserve Poplar’s sprawling Robin Hood Gardens by the Blackwall Tunnel
By Ben Homewood
A BAND of rebel tenants have begun a controversial 11th hour bid to stop their concrete housing estate being bulldozed after top architects failed to save it.
The tenants want to preserve Poplar’s sprawling Robin Hood Gardens estate by the Blackwall Tunnel in London’s East End.
But Town Hall bosses want to tear the concrete complex down as part of the Blackwall Reach’ redevelopment scheme which would mean 250 families being rehoused.
Council surveys at Tower Hamlets claim most tenants favour flattening the estate.
But this week the band of tenants emerged in a rearguard action to try and save the 1970s brutalist concrete’ estate for the people.’
“I’ve been to 105 homes so far and 95 of them favour the estate being refurbished,” 39-year-old rebel leader Darren Pauling told the East London Advertiser.
“But it seems the council has decided to knock it down and that’s it.”
Darren has challenged the Town Hall’s findings to try and stop the bulldozers.
But a petition he lodged at the Town Hall has been overlooked in a Sherwood Forest’ of red tape while his cause he says is being ignored.
His neighbour, 62-year-old Shirley Magnitsky, said: “We’re being brainwashed by the council to think that we are living in a horrible’ building that should be demolished.
“We’ve got everything to lose and nothing to gain if they knock it down, as none of us will be able to come back.”
Their campaign calls for a ballot of Robin Hood Gardens to force the council to reconsider its plans.
But it is a little late in the day, after the Environment Secretary of State refused to have it listed earlier this year, despite a campaign by some of Britain’s top architects.
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