Action On Aylesbury Estate

By Lindsey Last edited 124 months ago
Action On Aylesbury Estate

Hot on the heels of Heygate, the infamous Aylesbury Estate flanking the Walworth Road is due for redevelopment

. "A byword for all that is worst about the concrete jungles built in haste during the 1960s housing boom" and favoured film set for The Bill it's hoped a billion pound new build will banish the addicts, guns and crack houses and lure a new kind of householder to SE17, who'll snap up swish private parts to subsidise the social housing need.

Before the demolition ball swings in, however, the Council have forked out a hefty wedge to hire a spanking big PR firm to deal with communication around the redevelopment programme. Not only have they to keep residents and the local community informed - presumably the staged demolition means transplanting people and considerable disruption to everyday life - but those affluent potential residents also need convincing that Aylesbury is where they need to be. Waitrose for Walworth? Call it Camberwell Heights? With Elephant itself undergoing massive change, perhaps those priced out of Newington Butts will be looking for a des res a little further south.

It's a huge job, no doubt. But more grassroots projects which cost hardly anything at all are also at work and the PRs should take note. This summer I Knit London worked with residents on the Estate to knit a memorial to the massive 60s block. Crucially, it remembered that "hell's waiting room" is also home to 7,500 people and a local landmark of 40 years.

Image courtesy of surprise truck under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Last Updated 20 October 2008