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Dagenham redevelopment proposal could see families lose their homes

PUBLISHED: 10:38 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:38 25 April 2019

Barking and Dagenham Council's cabinet chiefs voted to pursue a plan to redevelop land in Rainham Road South, Dagenham, which could see tenants and leaseholders lose their homes. Picture: GOOGLE

Barking and Dagenham Council's cabinet chiefs voted to pursue a plan to redevelop land in Rainham Road South, Dagenham, which could see tenants and leaseholders lose their homes. Picture: GOOGLE

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The council is pursuing plans to redevelop blocks of flats which could see families lose their homes.

Cllr Cameron Geddes told other cabinet members he had experience of being decanted from his own home. Picture: LBBDCllr Cameron Geddes told other cabinet members he had experience of being decanted from his own home. Picture: LBBD

Councillors voted in favour of the £20million plans which could see 64 council homes built on the 1.4 acre site at 482 - 528 Rainham Road South, Dagenham, while 13 tenants and 11 leaseholders are relocated.

Cllr Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration and social housing, put the proposal to fellow Barking and Dagenham Council chiefs during a public meeting at Barking Town Hall on Tuesday.

He said the families now living there would get “the utmost attention” if the plans went ahead, but that the extra homes would be rented at up to 80 per cent below the going market rate and offered to locals on the council's housing waiting lists.

Cllr Geddes said: “It is a real struggle to help those people so I'm pleased we are doing that to a small extent at least.

“This will need intensive one to one work with residents to mitigate disruption and to see what we can do to alleviate fears.”

He added that council officers were looking into the possibility of leaseholders, who would have bought their homes under the right to buy scheme, getting a guarantee they could return to the site.

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“The people we have got there at the moment are a high priority,” Cllr Geddes said.

Cllr Saima Ashraf, the council's deputy leader, said: “We still have a lot of properties in a poor state. Our residents deserve quality housing.

“I'm quite pleased officers have already started to work on looking at the feasibility of leaseholders coming back to properties.”

A council report states the site is included within the business plan of Be First – the council-owned regeneration firm – but is not included in the local authority's 2015-2021 plan to renew its housing stock.

The proposals mean it wouldn't be possible for future tenants to purchase their homes under right to buy because of the way the development was funded by the council.

Its housing company, Reside, would back the project. Current tenants and leaseholders are due to be consulted.

The proposal could go for planning approval in December with works completed by May 2023.

There are 7,000 people on the council's housing waiting list.

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