Residents overwhelmingly back moving from Shires Estate

Image of one of the blocks at the Shires estate (Shropshire) top half

Residents of the Shires Estate have robustly backed plans by Enfield Council to be moved into alternative housing.

The feedback was gathered following a four-week engagement exercise with residents of Shropshire and Cheshire Houses, which showed more than three quarters of respondents support the Council’s proposals to be rehoused.

This feedback, alongside the significant investment required in the blocks immediately and over the medium term, means Enfield Council’s Cabinet members will consider a proposal to decommission the buildings. A report will be presented to the Cabinet on 19 April.

Enfield Council intends to re-house residents within a year and will start discussions as soon as possible with leaseholders to ensure the timely buy-back of their properties.

The two 17-storey blocks in Edmonton, comprising 204 homes, will be subject to a demolition notice, if the recommendations are accepted.

Enfield Council’s Leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: “Following overwhelming backing of moving from the estate, our priority is to ensure all residents at Cheshire and Shropshire Houses get the quality home they deserve. A full refurbishment of the blocks, just to maintain them to an acceptable standard, would have been expensive and disruptive, so we have listened to the community at The Shires Estate who do not want to go through several months of disruption. Decanting the blocks will also enable the Council to put its limited resources towards improving the rest of our council homes.

“This is why we are recommending decommissioning the tower blocks, which will enable us to move residents out as soon as soon possible into decent and safe alternative accommodation. The safety and comfort of our residents is our priority, and this decision will ensure that residents are able to quickly access the decent housing they deserve.”

Dedicated resident engagement officers will be deployed to support residents to identify their housing options and to help move home. Council officers will prioritise the most vulnerable residents who may need additional support. There will be access to legal and surveying costs associated with buybacks for leaseholders, and they too will be supported to move.

The report on the future of Shropshire and Cheshire Houses will be presented to the Cabinet on the evening of 19 April and is subject to call-in. Approval for leaseholder buybacks will be tabled and debated at a Council meeting, likely this May.

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