The real-life Clockwork Orange estate in southeast London could be knocked down

A London housing estate that featured in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange could be knocked down. Housing activists are trying to save the building from demolition. Residents of the estate in south east London are resisting the plans to knock down their homes, saying it will lead to homelessness, debt and carbon pollution.

Back in 1971, Alex and his gang of droogs trawled Lesnes Estate in Thamesmead in the violent Kubrick flick. But now social housing providers Peabody want to knock down the 1960s-built brutalist development.

Once called the ‘town of tomorrow’, Thamesmead has fallen into disrepair over the years because of poor transport links to central London and high unemployment levels. Now, thanks to a new Elizabeth line link land values in the area have increased

But understandably, residents of the Lesnes Estate don’t want to leave their homes. They’ve enlisted housing activists to occupy vacant flats in protest, and are asking London Mayor Sadiq Khan to refuse planning permission. 

According to Khan’s planning report, the demolition of the community will result in a ‘a significant loss of affordable housing when assessed on a per unit and per habitable room basis’, turning a 600-home estate with two-thirds social and affordable rented homes into a 1,950-unit development. This could change however, as the final plan isn’t yet complete. 

Current residents argue that the homes are solid and could be refitted instead of knocked down. Resident Johnell Olabhie, 57, told the Guardian the project would end in ‘homelessness, destitution and indebtedness’. Another resident Rose Asenguah, 67, told the Guardian that locals should be able to benefit from the improvements the Lizzie line had brought, calling the Conservative-run Bexley council ‘greedy and money-loving’. 

A spokesperson for Peabody said: ‘We do care, and Peabody colleagues are available for residents to talk to… we are a not-for-profit organisation, and our core purpose is to provide social housing.

‘Every resident has been offered the opportunity to move into a new home on the estate.Those in social rented homes will continue to pay social rent, and resident homeowners are being offered a new home without the need to take on an additional mortgage.’

Peabody added it would ‘continue to review plans as the project progresses to make sure we build as many new social and affordable homes as possible’.

The Lesnes Estate demolition comes after news that Sadiq Khan wants to redevelop much of the east London docklands in a bid to resurrect the area

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