[NetBehaviour] Heygate estate gentrification drawing

dave miller dave.miller.uk at gmail.com
Tue Oct 21 10:34:40 CEST 2014


Some explanation:

The top panel shows the Heygate Estate being demolished, and bottom panel
shows anxious residents talking to their local councillor. This drawing is
about greed and speculation, gentrification and social cleansing, how
Heygate’s former tenants have been moved out of their homes to make way for
their richer replacements.

The text “What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after
field, until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land” - is taken
from the Bible (Isiah 5)

Some background:

“This is a situation that divides everyone living in London in two: an
affluent minority benefiting from a booming property market and a majority
struggling under a severe housing crisis.

Just south of the roundabout in Elephant and Castle, the Heygate Estate has
become the paradigmatic example of the MIPIM-model of property development
– what those profiting from it would like to call ‘regeneration’. Lend
Lease, an Australian developer, are demolishing the Heygate council estate
to make room for 2400 luxury flats. For thirty years, Heygate provided
Southwark with 1200 social-rented dwellings; the new development will
contain 79.

Heygate’s former tenants have been moved out of their homes to make way for
their richer replacements. Those who refused were dealt with via a
Compulsory Purchase Order. Average compensation for a one-bedroom flat was
£95,480; the cheapest equivalents in the new development will cost
£310,000. Consequently, the vast majority have been scattered across south

At a public inquiry into the process, former Heygate leaseholder Terry
Redpath traveled in from Sidcup to describe how he was affected. “I could
no longer afford to stay in the area,” he said. “The compensation I was
offered plus £45,000 of life savings bought me a terraced property 15 miles
out of London.”

Heygate encapsulates how regeneration works – and why social cleansing is a
more accurate term.

At a time when millions of Londoners are in acute need of affordable
housing, local authorities are knocking it down and replacing it with
luxury flats. An affluent professional class moves in and, assisted by
hedge fund managers with no intention of living in the homes they buy,
entirely displaces the existing community.

Meanwhile, most Londoners find themselves with no influence over the way
their city changes, peeking through the window at a process that is selling
off public land and pushing the poorest of them out of their homes.”

Extracts taken from:
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