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Alton Regeneration Watch Campaign

Angry residents slammed plans to demolish parts of UK’s largest council estate.

A community led pressure group has spread awareness over controversial new developments.

Some have been opposing plans due to concerns that the council are modernising the estate without preserving the heart of the community.

However, between February and April the council conducted consultations throughout the neighbourhood, including door to door questions with 70% of all households providing feedback, and meetings with local groups and schools.

The Alton Regeneration programme, managed by Wandsworth Council, has caused a stir within the estate, resulting in the Alton Regeneration Watch campaign. They have petitioned online to ‘Stop Regeneration by Demolition’, and to ‘Save Our Alton Community Centre’.

Protests against funding cuts for Alton Community Centre, described as ‘the only secure, safe, and free place for the children’, were shown on London Live in January. Residents view this as the council stripping the people of their community spirit and worry that Alton Regeneration will have similar results.

The council hope to rebuild and provide improved town centres.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “This project will preserve the best qualities of this unique post war housing estate while unlocking its full potential as a thriving mixed use neighbourhood…”

Robin Bishop, Alton Regeneration Watch co-founder, has been at the forefront of the action lobbying for local residents against the regeneration, stating that they want “economic and social revival through genuine involvement between the council and estate”, rather than demolition.

Despite the Wandsworth council stating that “the masterplan followed extensive consultation with residents”, one of the community watchdogs criticisms of how the council has handled the programme was that “they have fallen short of communicating with the people”.

While some question change, others are welcoming it. Council consultation reports show that ‘when residents were asked if they supported the proposal about how Danebury Avenue centre could have a mix of shops, housing, business space and community facilities’, 65% within the redevelopment area supported it.