Found just south of the Regents Canal, between Whitmore Road and Gainsborough Studios, Colville Estate is made up of ageing 1940s red brick buildings that have seen better days.
Some years ago, the residents and the Council agreed that they would like the estate to become a regeneration estate which meant that, rather than being included in the decent homes programme, their homes would be rebuilt.
This decision means that across the coming years Colville Estate will be completely rebuilt, and a new Colville will be created containing more than 900 homes. This new community will contain the same number of socially rented homes as at present – about 450 - along with shared ownership and private homes. Due to the absence of alternative funding, the scheme has been designed to be entirely self-funding with the new private homes paying for the new social housing.
The first stage of Colville’s regeneration was started in 2010 and finished last year. Bridport House, on the west side of Bridport Place, is an award-winning building and currently houses 41 families, all of them Hackney Homes tenants.
Phase two of Colville’s regeneration is now underway. The first part of this is ensuring all the current residents of a number of blocks on the west of the estate move out, to allow new homes to be built in their place.
Everyone who currently lives on the estate – except those who rent from privately right-to-buy landlords – has the right to return to the regenerated Colville. We know that not all residents will choose to do so, but for those who do so, we have tried to make the process as fair as possible.
For Colville’s Hackney Homes tenants, each family’s housing needs will be individually assessed in line with a Hackney-wide approach which was agreed after consultation with residents. Each family will have the opportunity to select a home which meets their housing need from those that are being built.
Colville also has a number of leaseholders, homeowners who bought what were former rented properties either directly through right to buy or from a previous owner. As the Council has made very clear, all leaseholders will be paid the market value of their property, and those leaseholders who live on the estate will have the right to buy a new property on the estate if they so wish. Leaseholders will also be compensated with an additional payment of 10% of the value of their home to recognise the disturbance they face. In addition, if for any reason there is a period between moving out of their current property and a new one, Hackney will cover their rental costs.
The Council recognises that the new-build properties will have a significantly higher value than the current properties on the estate, and that leaseholders may not be able to make up the difference. Therefore the Council has put in place a scheme that will allow those leaseholders who want to remain on the estate to purchase part of a new property, up to the value of their existing property. If they choose to do this the Council retaining ownership of the remainder but – unlike normal shared ownership schemes - the leaseholder will not pay rent on the part of the property they do not own.
This shared-equity scheme is designed to both recognise that resident leaseholders are integral to Colville community, and also ensuring that taxpayers money is used fairly – whilst leaseholders are taxpayers themselves, it would not be fair to other taxpayers to gift to resident leaseholders a property of a value greater than the property they currently own.
In order to ensure the regeneration moves forward on schedule and those that have already moved out are able to move back within a reasonable time period, the Council has put in place a compulsory purchase order as a last resort – all Colville residents have been informed about this process. All offers made to leaseholders both within and outside the compulsory purchase process will be set by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, an independent internationally-recognised organisation appointed for this specific purpose.
The regeneration of any area is a difficult process, and asking any resident to move out of their home is not something undertaken lightly. However, Colville residents themselves decided to go ahead with this regeneration, the Colville Tenants and Residents Association remains at the heart of the regeneration process meeting regularly with officers and councillors, and the outcome at the end of this change will be better homes for existing Colville tenants and leaseholders and a new modern community at the heart of Hoxton, built around the people who currently live there.
If you have any questions or concerns about any of the above please just get in contact with us using the contact details on the right hand side of this blog.