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Relocation of Alma residents due to start

Published Wednesday, 05 September 2012

Work to rehouse the first group of residents from the Alma estate has started ahead of a multi-million pound scheme to demolish and rebuild the estate.

Residents of the 717 properties on the estate in Ponders End are due to be told by letter today (5 September) the order in which they will be rehoused. Work will also start to buy out leaseholders living on the estate.

Enfield Council has also given assurances that maintenance work will be carried out to ensure properties on the estate for those that are living in later phases are maintained to a good standard until the tenants are rehoused.

The Council is also seeking a development partner to regenerate the estate and plans to start demolishing and rebuilding the estate from 2014.

The announcement that residents are to find out how the estate will be decanted received a cautious welcomed by the chairman of the Alma Estate Residents Association, Ricky Powell,

He said: “We're pleased the process of moving people off the estate is starting and we're looking forward to working closely with the Council to make sure residents have the information they require to answer any questions they may have.

"We're naturally looking forward to seeing the Council's proposals and we're determined to work with the local authority to meet the needs of residents, help deliver this exciting regeneration project and get the best possible outcome for everyone living on the estate."

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Ahmet Oykener, said: “We are forging ahead with this historic development so we can get residents into alternative accommodation as quickly as possible.

“The redevelopment of the estate will significantly improve the area and the surrounding area and dramatically improve the quality of life of the families currently living on the estate

 "We listened to what our residents said and responded to their wishes, the estate as it currently exists does not meet the high standards of accommodation our council tenants expect and deserve and demolition and rebuilding is the best option for the people living there, the community and the borough as a whole.

 “Our challenge now is to make sure that we keep the estate in a good state of repair for the people who remain on the estate while ensuring the people who leave it earlier in the process move into high quality accommodation

Enfield Council gave the go ahead to the estate demolition in July, and decided existing Council tenants could choose to be rehoused into a new home on the estate or elsewhere in Council accommodation while leaseholders on the estate would be bought out by the Council at market rate.

During the reconstruction of the estate, Enfield Council will become one of the first local authorities in decades to build new social housing.

A significant number of the new homes, which remain in Council ownership, will be designed to cater for families because of a chronic shortage of family sized council houses in the borough.

Residents were first consulted on the future of the estate in October 2011 where they said they wanted the estate to be comprehensively redeveloped.

An initial test of opinion showed 84% of people who responded to the consultation were in favour of demolition. A second test of opinion conducted this year showed 78% favoured redevelopment. 

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