88% Regina Road residents vote in favour of demolition

In a poll result that will surprise no one, the long-suffering residents of Regina Road in South Norwood, who have endured some of the worst housing conditions ever seen in 21st Century Britain, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the blighted tower blocks being demolished.

Demolish: residents on Regina Road have had their say over the future of the blocks

The only real surprise over the estate polling was that as many as 1-in-8 households who voted opposed the council’s demolition proposals.

Regina Road gained notoriety in early 2021 when ITV News exposed the horrendous condition in some of the flats, with leaks, damp and black mould among some of the most obvious unsanitary conditions.

The ITV News reports showed “dangerous squalor” and slum-like conditions of some of the council flats there, where leaks had been reported months before but which the council’s maintenance contractors had failed to repair.

Independent consultants, in the weeks immediately following the television news coverage, found systemic failures and incompetence in the council’s housing department.

Inside Croydon reported in August 2022 how attempts to repair and refurbish some of the blighted Regina Road flats had failed to deliver satisfactory improvements in the living conditions endured by council tenants.

By November last year, the council’s housing director, Susmita Sen, said, “An appropriate conclusion might be that the tower blocks are no longer fit for purpose and that the most effective remedy may be to demolish.”

And according to the estate polling, the residents agree.

Squalor: the ITV News report in 2021 exposed the conditions in Regina Road flats, where mums use their baby baths to collect leaking water

The turnout of eligible voters from the estate was 81.7per cent, of which 88.1per cent voted “Yes” and 11.9per cent voted against.

The ballot closed on May 22. It related to a specified area of Regina Road which includes the three 11-storey tower blocks and a number of low-rise blocks and houses, such as Sunny Bank Nos1-8B.

Elected Mayor Jason Perry will be putting proposals to his council cabinet to seek funding from the Greater London Authority towards the delivery of this project. Mayor Perry has promised to replace all council homes that will be demolished – which at present numbers 141 (as anyone who has listened to our latest Croydon Insider podcast would already know) – although he has not given any undertaking to increase the number of council homes on the site, despite the massive demand for homes for social rent.

“The council has been working closely with Regina Road residents to develop the options for the future of their homes,” the council said today.

“All council tenants and leaseholders should expect to have warm, safe and dry homes that they are proud to live in and I am committed to delivering this pledge as part of the transformation of Croydon’s housing service,” Mayor Perry said.

It is an undertaking which might yet be regarded as setting a precedent. Regina Road has three 1960s residential blocks (each with 44 one-bed flats), that were built by Waites. Around the borough, including in New Addington and Waddon, there’s at least a dozen other Waites-built blocks, of similar vintage and many with similar issues facing their residents every day.

Replacing these hundreds of homes could be a task well beyond the scope of Perry’s bankrupt borough.

Some Katharine Street sources nonetheless congratulated the Tory Mayor for grasping the nettle over the unrepairable Regina Road flats. “At least the Conservatives have been more successful in engaging with the residents at Regina Road than ‘Lazy’ Clive Fraser, their Labour councillor, ever did,” said one.

A meeting is being held next Wednesday May 31, at 6pm, at Stanley Arts, in South Norwood, for Regina Road residents to learn more about the results and to have the opportunity to put questions to the council’s project team, independent tenant liaison advisers and architects.

The weekly tenancy drop-ins held on the estate will continue also. For more information about the project and drop-ins, see the council’s website.

Read more: Croydon shamed over ‘dangerous squalor’ in council flats
Read more: Investigation finds systemic failure and incompetence in council
Read more: Council’s flats scandal caused by ‘complete corporate failure’

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4 Responses to 88% Regina Road residents vote in favour of demolition

  1. Sue Perkins says:

    ….and 100% of Regina Road residents vote in favour of kicking lazy Clive Fraser out on his fat ass. All this happened on his watch. Shameful character.

  2. Sarah Bird says:

    As Jason Perry appears to have stated openly “All council tenants and leaseholders should expect to have warm, safe and dry homes that they are proud to live in and I am committed to delivering this pledge as part of the transformation of Croydon’s housing service,” Mayor Perry said.”.

    Given the blatant failings of the Council , where is the accountability of the council’s very well paid officers and its councilors over many years ?

    • Ian Kierans says:

      Again something to do with their actions being ”perfectly legal” and being unaccountable.
      Strange that you could get a hefty sentence for misappriating a billion outside of regulations, maiming a person by your actions, and even life for killing a person even with the Corporate manslaughter law.

      But seemingly not if you are a Public administrator? Croydon does not even warrent and investigation But at least in Medway they investigated and some arrests have been made. There is justice in some places.

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