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Tenants' challenge forces Town Hall rethink on Robin Hood

PUBLISHED: 22:06 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:09 05 October 2010

FAMILIES tonight challenged Tower Hamlets council plans to redevelop the Robin Hood Gardens housing estate in East London. The plans include demolishing the massive 1970s concrete scheme by the Blackwall Tunnel to make way for private development

By Mike Brooke

FAMILIES tonight challenged Tower Hamlets council plans to redevelop the Robin Hood Gardens housing estate in East London.

The plans include demolishing the massive 1970s concrete scheme by the Blackwall Tunnel to make way for private development.

The families are worried this means being rehoused elsewhere with new tenancy agreements and losing their 'security of tenure' rights.

The challenge was thrown down by five Opposition Respect party members of the authority which was accepted by the ruling Labour group.

It means the authority was having to reconsider the issue at tonight's Cabinet meeting.

The tenants, who were turning up to the meeting at the Town Hall issued a statement claiming consultations were not thorough because not all tenants took part.

"Those who were interviewed were not told the regeneration would mean losing the secured tenancies," the statement said.

"There's also no guarantee for everyone to be rehoused back here so that people can weigh up the pros and the cons and come to an overall beneficial decision."

The families have told the Advertiser they want to remain 'Secured' council tenants and be rehoused back in Robin Hood Gardens when it is redeveloped, preferring the 'rebuilding' option instead of refurbishing.

Robin Hood Gardens has been at the centre of a controversy after leading architectural figures like Lord Rogers of Riverside last month called for the dilapidated complex to be 'preserved' as an example of post-war public housing, while Advertiser readers have been calling for it be pulled down.

Many families opt for redevelopment, but insist on retaining their 'Secure' tenancies.

Tonight, the authority's cabinet meeting was deciding just that, after the issue was successfully challenged.

mike.brooke@archant.co.uk

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