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Thursday, 11 September 2014



Dear Dame,

For at least the past eight years the RBKC council has colluded with Affinity Sutton's deliberate dilapidation of their properties on Chelsea's Sutton Estate to facilitate their plans to demolish these historic and architecturally important buildings, against the wishes of residents and locals.

The effect of Affinity Sutton's unwillingness to fulfil their obligations has been to deny hundreds of people a permanent home as they have thrown out the residents from mansion blocks on the estate, and left the properties to rot.

At a time when the borough is desperately short of housing, the Council has stood by and watched, while its officers have been working with Affinity Sutton to propose a development with over 40% luxury housing, a reduction in social housing in Chelsea of hundreds of residents, and the vast profits which could be in excess of £1/4 billion leaving the borough.

The residents have asked that the Council follow their own RBKC Core Strategy which calls for no reduction in social housing in the borough, but only one councillor has been willing to give a straight answer, Cllr. Tim Coleridge.
Cllr. Coleridge whilst not willing to rule out the demolition and redevelopment of the estate, has at least said unequivocally that any plans submitted by Affinity Sutton reduce the number or size of social housing units (including those left to deteriorate) on the estate will be rejected. 

Whilst the residents and locals of Chelsea do not accept the necessity to demolish this historic site, at least there is one councillor who is willing to stand up to the opportunism of the Affinity Sutton group, and it can only be hoped that more councillors will stand with their residents rather than the developers. 

We have still to hear from our own local Stanley Ward Councillors Cockell, Warwick and Pascal and leader of the Council Cllr. Paget-Brown, as to whether they will respect and support their own council's Core Strategy, and work for the benefit of their constituents or the opportunism of Affinity Sutton.


Andrew Barshall


  1. Dame thankfully you don't talk for all the residents as many like me are quite excited by the development. In fact the majority I speak to (and my family has lived on this estate for almost 100 years) are actually looking forward to not living in flats which only faces brown brick wall or has damp running through. Of course affinity sutton could move us all out as happened with the local authority in Bromley and not rehouse the Chelsea tenants (all of whom will be re-housed). Andrew I actually don't believe you live on the estate as a lot of the people that seem to be against it are those very nobs that live in the posh surrounding houses. Is it jealousy, is it they can't bear the thought of the inconvenience darling or maybe it is the fear they will lose the skivvy they pay cash in hand to clean their houses,
    Andrew please please don't say councillors stand with their residents in opposing this as this resident can't wait to see the whole estate pulled down, it was fit for purpose till around 1950 and even if re developed as is is an eyesore.

    1. Dou you mind being moved out of the area DG? Because moved out of the area you will be if Affinity Sutton get the way.
      What a really dumb card to play....the class card...
      Those surrounding the Estate don't seem to care what happens so don't introduce herrings. And why say Barshall doesn't live on the Estate when he does? Make your point but don't tell lies.

    2. The Sutton Estate may be unfit for use at the moment, but that is because nobody has invested in it for years. Many old estates in the private and public sectors have been cared for and updated properly and are wonderful places to live with character. Demolishing the mansion blocks to replace them with luxury private apartments is not the answer.
      Improve the housing stock, and bring them up to date.

    3. Dave (DG). If the residents on the estate were for it ( The Demolition of the estate ) where have their voices been for the past 2 Years. There have been numerous events all over the borough and there haven't been any voices that want the development. 8 Years on a building site is not c ondusive to many of the elderly residents living a long and happy life. Your missing the point completely.Affinity Sutton have a Duty to keep the buildings to a minimum standard. Why should the residents be pushed around. Affinty Sutton has £1b under loans. This is not about the residents - its about Affinity Sutton making money for private investors. I can confirm Andrew does live on the estate, I say this as a long term resident. As you and family have lived on the estate for 100 Years - why have you not been more active in looking after residents instead of the Landlord.

    4. Well DG if you are so excited I wonder if you will still be when you find out what you might get? How will they double the number of homes while improving your view? You might find you have exactly the same view as you had before, or the posh flats might get the best view and the social rented homes stuck in a dark corner.

  2. Sorry not missing the point at all, and for getting the facts right NO ONE is being moved off the estate that is an Affinity Sutton tenant, that is another scare mongering story from those that wish to spread fear and intimidation to further their cause. If Andrew lives on the Estate so be it, He like Me is entitled to a view, Unfortunately as is always the case with sites like this though, those with a differing view are just considered idiots being manipulated by'the man'.
    So Please have a view but don't talk for all of us as You do not, there have been a lot of voices pro the development, maybe you just haven't wanted to listen.
    If this redevelopement does not go ahead i imagine the alternative though will be another long period of uncerntainty followed by another bout of planning permission talks and the possibility of us then being moved out.
    Anyway I have said my piece, have a pleasant day gentlemen and I sincerely hope for the sake of those that do want a better environment than the Colditz on Cale Street that you do not manage to block this so lets agree to differ.

    1. Matthew 16:26
      For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
      In your case Dave it was a flat and a seat on the steering group.

    2. Dave would be well advised to ensure that any promises he has been made by Affinity Sutton are legally binding. He might otherwise find, like many others before him, that the Housing Association conveniently "forgets" all they had little intention of ever doing.

  3. I understand your attitude of looking after your own interests, and not giving a damn about others, but the Affinity Sutton plan reduces social housing on the estate from 461 units to 300. They have already emptied out 4 blocks of tenants to try and cash in on the development profits, and good to see that they have their lackeys like you on the estate to support them. You have sold your integrity for far too little.

  4. Why do they need to move residents out. Why cant Affinity Sutton just refurbish the estate. Its clearly not down to lack of funds on their part. Nobody said you were an idiot Dave. You seem to be better informed than most on planning etc. William Sutton bought the land and provided homes for those not as fortunate as himself. Is that view so radical ?

  5. If DG wants a more modern looking property - why doesn't he just move to one of the other estates.

  6. Why another round of planning (DG). Cant they just freshen up what we already have for the benefit of the people living there - the redevelopment should reflect this, the Landlord should not be looking after the interests of overseas speculators - and in turn making a huge profit for themselves. This was not the intention of William Sutton when he bequeathed the land and buildings. He must be spinning in his grave.

  7. Before canonising Tim Coleridge we should remember a thing or two about this Councillor.
    It was Councillor Coleridge who was the Cabinet Minister for Property and Housing and was responsible for overseeing the Council's fascist "Decant Policy" that explicitly removed the guarantee that residents had to be given the opportunity to return to their communities on any "regenerated" social housing estates.
    Unfortunately this Councillor also speaks with forked tongue and has a history of deceiving residents in order for the RBKC Council and it's quislings to achieve their aims:

  8. Are DG and Dave naive or employees of Affinity Sutton? Does anyone believe that Affinity Sutton who have let the estate fall apart for so many years are suddenly interested in the welfare of the residents? Or are they just out to screw as much money as possible out of the estate by selling it off as multi-million £ flats?

  9. Dave (well thats what you called me)12 September 2014 at 10:41

    Actually couple of things, steering group ? nope not yet but good idea, missed the boat on that one.
    DG and Dave are the same person, I only answered as Dave as someone kindly named me that, DG is actually a Dentate Gyrus, bit of brain that likes exploring new things. so lets clear that up.
    As for moving off the estate, well frankly if I could move somewhere else in Chelsea then I would if needed.
    As for promises, Affinity Sutton said in a public meeting they would assure all tenants a flat. I agree the loss of some social housing is not ideal but a number of the flats are actually bedsits that in any modernisation would (I hope for the sake of the residents) be knocked into the neighbouring flats anyway as even a modernisation I believe would lose a lot of flats. Those of us around in the first modernisation in the 70s will remember some flats and lift shafts were created from the loss of 2 or 3 flats per floor..
    Also I am no an employee of affinity and have been a strong critic of the degeneration of the estate. But I am also not against redeveloping the area if it improves the environment and that EVERYONE currently a resident is assured a home on the estate. Maybe that is something CATS could ask to happen on our behalf.
    As for my last point of moving residents out. If the estate is to be modernised, it would take a lot of work, Affinity Sutton could again submit planning permission to reduce the nmber of flats and sell some of the modernised flats off as saving the Estate facade doesn't guarantee keeping it as social housing. There is also a fair number of blocks being maintained.
    That is the last I will say on the matter, been pleasant talking to you all (if you are all different people).

    1. Dave,

      Do yourself a favour and take some time to research what actually takes place during the "regeneration" of an existing social housing development. I strongly recommend you go find and speak to people who have been down this particular road. Many would be more than happy to describe their personal experiences. You might find the contrast between what was promised and what actually happened enlightening.

      A couple of very obvious points:
      - Something said at a public meeting is not legally binding. It is probably an "aspiration"; that is to say: effectively worthless.
      - If you are moved it may well be outside the borough. It will be where Affinity Sutton can accommodate you, not where you would prefer to live.

      And yes, I am a real person who posts under the pseudonym "Lemon". All such posts are mine, other posts on here are not.

    2. Dave, I have no wish to attack you for your sincerely held views, and I understand and appreciate that you have had enough of the running down of the estate, and just want to get a decent flat for your family. My concern is that we as citizens have a wider responsibility to society, and if by our actions we can improve the situation, and ensure that the same levels of social housing is kept in the borough then we should do everything to achieve that goal.
      At the moment Affinity Sutton's plans would create huge profits which would be used to shore up their business in other areas, and I believe we should do our utmost to fight for social justice rather than sell off our heritage to overseas millionaires, for the benefit of opportunistic developers.

    3. Dear Dave
      Your sweet naivety baffles me. How can all the displaced social housing residents be rehoused on the new estate if the plan is to reduce the number of social rented homes by over 100? What has happened to those who have already been moved out? Presumably they have gone elsewhere and Affinity Sutton are hoping they will settle outside Chelsea not demand to move back to Chelsea when new homes are available. You also do not wish to face a brick wall. Sadly, when these traditional estates are “regenerated”, all the homes for sale will be developed in the prime spots and the social housing will be put up against the railway, or the motorway, or up against something else undesirable. Your outlook – if you get one of the new social rented homes – will probably be worse than it is now

    4. Lemon It is actually in writing 75% of the flats will be social housing, it is also in writing all affinity sutton tenants will retain their tenancy and be given a flat on the Chelsea estate.
      Anon 1 that is the most sensible repost I have had and I respect it and the sentiment, but I still do not see an alternative being proposed. so will retain my view my side of this particular barricade.
      Anon 2 Claiming Naivety iand then following up with incorrect fact s a strange weapon, it is quite often implied in dictatorships to explain why those that oppose the views of the fascists are, ignorant, stupid and ultimately deserve no voice as they don't know what is good for them.
      Most tenants I know of that have left have gone from choice or actually tragically died, many moved into the sheltered housing as well.
      I don't want to get into a rant about this so lets agree to differ, affinity sutton may not be whiter than white in this but then again some of the 'conspiricy theories' I have seen in this thread make me surprised I haven't been accused of being one of the illiminati, Maybe the outlook is better above the ground floor, but it couldn't be worse than staring at a load of bins. Yes that could be remedied but I will end here and say lets agree to differ. I have every much a right to an opinion as anyone on the estate and just do not like being misrepresented when there is a tone in most of these blogs and replies bordering on the hysterical and i disagree with the impication they represent all of us.
      I do find many of the other blogs amusing and you may be surprised that quite a lot of the sentiment I agree with I must admit, maybe though that is because I am a bit of a dame meself.
      I shall carry on scouring the pages for amusement but think we have exhausted this one.

    5. Impossible, Mr Gyrus....there is only one Dame!

    6. Dentate Gyrus,

      1. While it is in writing that 25% of the flats will be private, what Affinity Sutton have failed to say is that those 25% of private flats will take about 45% of the square footage of the development.

      2. There are 461 flats on the estate at the moment, and the Affinity Sutton proposal loses 160 flats and hundreds of social housing residents places. The only reason that the blocks were deemed unfit was to reduce the number of social tenants that needed rehousing when they put their plans forward. This is social cleansing by a company that is meant to serve the interests of those in need of social housing

      3. Promises by Affinity Sutton of no increase in costs to residents are clearly untruthful.

      While I will defend your right to give your opinion without being unfairly attacked, and your choice to support the demolition of the estate, I believe you may be being a little economical with the truth in just restating the Affinity Sutton propaganda.

  10. I have a feeling that the Cadogan family gave the land to William Sutton as part of a gift to the community

  11. Dear Dame

    Excuse my self-publicity but I have written several blogs on 'social landlords gone bad'. Here is a quote from one written in June:

    'In 2010 when the planning application for Wornington Green was about to be heard, there were mixed feelings on the estate. This was despite a recent survey that stated ‘69% of people surveyed said they had concerns about the redevelopment but on the whole thought it was for the best’.

    We don’t know which buildings were surveyed, or how many people from each household were surveyed, but 69% of 252 people is just 173. In an estate of nearly 2,000 adults that’s barely 9%. And if they had cunningly focussed their survey on the worst maintained and most overcrowded buildings, 9% is still a lot, but not such a surprise.

    In response to local misgivings, Kensington Housing Trust (now Catalyst Housing Group) reassured their tenants with the following Pledges:

    March/April 2010
    Wornington Green newsletter
    ‘Kensington Housing Trust will keep the community together. We pledge to:

    • Re-house everybody who wants to remain on Wornington Green
    • End overcrowding
    • Create local jobs and apprenticeships
    • Provide all tenants with private outdoor space
    • Build a new home for the Venture centre and provide an improved same size park
    • Build homes to the same space standards as your home now
    • Charge the same rent levels as you have now
    • Build homes that can be adapted as your needs change’

    - The first is physically impossible unless they build additional homes, which they have no intention of doing
    - Second, ditto. We were told the estate was 153 bedrooms short.
    - Well, the jobs are there but very few local people are involved
    - Gardens replaced with a tiny balcony or sunless patio; no thanks!
    - Venture Centre and park; wait and see
    - Ask residents if they can fit their old furniture in their new homes. NOT.
    - Residents are definitely NOT paying the same rent levels OR COUNCIL TAX as previously
    - Adaptable homes; you gotta be kidding.

    The existence of these pledges has been called a ‘myth’.

    I have written a little booklet based on my experiences at Wornington Green; if anyone would like a copy you can contact me via my blog and I will email you a copy:

    Cllr EDC

    1. How can this be? Councillor Nick Paget-Brown has assured us that Wornington Green is a great success,

    2. it is - a great success for those who wish to get rid of social housing tenants from the Borough especially those from ethnic minorities. The joke, however, is that these homes are so badly built that all the grand new private owners will be going berserk at Catalyst within months (the few who will actually move in). One who bought a £1million plus home says it will not be a problem because of the 10 year builder's warranty - she hasn't looked carefully at the work done by these builders - any repair works will still be botched works.


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