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Creating a More Sustainable Elephant

Elephant Amnesia - Lest the Elephant Forget

In 1968, the decision was taken to demolish the original tenement buildings and owner-occupied terraced housing to make way for the Heygate estate.

The reasons given for the redevelopment were the following:

“The main problems to be overcome are the replacement of densely populated and obsolete tenement buildings which have low environmental standards, with redevelopment in a manner commensurate with today’s needs and standards.”

Paragraph 2.2.11968 Heygate Estate Planning Brief

It has since been accepted that the victorian buildings were structurally sound and that they would be very sought after today had they been retained:

In April 2011, Southwark council acknowledged the Heygate estate buildings were structurally sound, and released the following press statement in justifying its demolition:

“Much has been learned since the designs of the 1960s. As time has passed, the estate has become increasingly expensive to maintain and heat and is no longer an ideal place for people to live compared with standards that are expected today.”

Southwark CouncilPress Release April 2011

Now questions are being asked as to why did 80.3% of its residents say that they didn’t want to move off the estateif it was not an ideal place for people to live?