The Carpenters Estate in Stratford has been on my list of places to visit for some time, and I finally got around to it this weekend.
The estate was built in 1967 and includes terraced homes, small blocks of flats, a school, shop, police office, pub and three tower blocks - James Riley Point, Dennison Point and Lund Point.
|Shop and police station|
|Stratford & New Town Ward police station|
|The Carpenters Arms pub|
It's been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. Newham Council has promised the site to UCL, which wants to build a new campus there. In order to facilitate the sale of the site, the council has been 'decanting' residents, leaving sad, boarded up empty homes dotted around.
The process of selling and developing the site, which sits adjacent to the Olympic Park, has been going on for some time. Now the majority of residents left there are leaseholders and freeholders.
One man, who grew up on the estate and still lives in the house his parents raised him in, put it nicely. "We've been living next to a construction site for the last six years, and now just when we're about to get all the benefits of that - living next to a new royal park - we're being forced to move out," he told me.
|The Olympic Aquatics Centre as seen from the Carpenters Estate|
The residents are fighting to stay. There are notices dotted around - "Save our Homes. Say no to UCL on Carpenters Estate".
The council argues that the tower blocks are too expensive to renovate and that the cost per leaseholder (estimated at £120,000) would not be reflected in the value of the home.
The blocks were good enough, however, for the BBC and Al Jazeera to use as broadcasting studios during the 2012 Olympic games.
|The BBC broadcast from here during the Olympic Games|
As is so often the case in these situations, it seems inevitable the residents will be forced out of their homes. A deep-rooted community will be dispersed - something that the council argues can be justified for the jobs and wealth created in return.