David Cameron promises £140m turnaround of sink estates

Lynsey Barber
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Report Reveals Living Standards Of UK Council Estates
High-rise post-war buildings will make way for new housing (Source: Getty)

David Cameron has promised £140m to redevelop so-called sink estates in an effort to tackle poverty and social problems.

Some 100 housing estates across the UK will be redeveloped and some knocked down "starting from scratch" under new plans.

"Behind front doors, families build warm and welcoming homes. But step outside in the worst estates and you’re confronted by concrete slabs dropped from on high, brutal high-rise towers and dark alleyways that are a gift to criminals and drug dealers," the Prime Minister said, writing in the Sunday Times.

"The police often talk about the importance of designing out crime, but these estates designed it in. Decades of neglect have led to gangs, ghettos and antisocial behaviour. And poverty has become entrenched, because those who could afford to move have understandably done so."

The scheme, details of which will be set out in a speech by Cameron on Monday, will be lead by Lord Heseltine, who oversaw the redevelopment of London and Liverpool in the 1980s.

Cameron cited research indicating those involved in the riots of 2011 were overwhelmingly from post-war estates.

The cash will fund the planning process, temporary rehousing and early construction costs.

​The regeneration could lead to hundreds of new homes being built in London. A new report from Savills due to be published tomorrow will suggest that more homes can be built where current estates stand.

"What the Savills research shows is that housing estates can deliver more homes and be made into better neighbourhoods by re-integrating them into the wider street network and creating or repairing the streetscape," said Savills research director Yolande Barnes.

"This creates more highly valued neighbourhoods. The signs are that new developments of ‘complete streets’ cost less to build than conventional estate renewal."

London's Winstanley estate in Wandsworth and Broadwater Farm in Tottenham are among those reportedly being targeted for redevelopment.

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