CITY Hall chiefs are locked in a stand-off with Westminster residents whose homes are threatened with demolition.
Leaseholders in Alpha House, a 30-unit block in Lisson Grove, Paddington, are refusing to pay for upgrade work until they receive a guarantee that their building will be spared the wrecking ball.
They say they have been ignored in consultations on the Futures Plan, a council scheme aimed at transforming the area and building new affordable homes.
City Hall, which owns the freehold on Alpha House, has said it no longer plans to pursue “the more radical proposals”, but a spokeswoman declined to give an undertaking that Alpha House would be spared.
Musician Dan Bradley, who is leading a campaign against demolition, said he would not hand over a penny until he had received written clarification on which aspect of the Futures Plan had been ditched.
He said: “Alpha House is only 35 years old and could last for another 100 years or more. The council have run it into the ground. We have no objection to development of nearby vacant sites but we don’t see why this building needs to go.”
Margaret Browning, who owns the lease on her flat together with her husband, said: “Residents and lessees appear to have been brushed aside. How can such a relatively new block even be considered for demolition?”
Estate agent Olia Dmytryk, said she had spent her “life savings” on acquiring the lease on her flat, which she bought in 2002.
Lessees are also worried that new flats built in place of Alpha House will not be “like for like”. Only one or two-bedroom units are planned, whereas currently there are many flats that have been converted so that they have three bedrooms.
Councillor Jonathan Glanz, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for housing and corporate property, said: “Following discussions with residents at Alpha House, major works at this block will go ahead as planned, to ensure it is maintained to a high standard.
“We are therefore not proposing to go ahead with the more radical proposals for Alpha House which were initially proposed.
“After the delivery of the first phases of the regeneration programme we will then review which further proposals should be considered.”
Published: 22 July 2011
by JOSH LOEB