The long-awaited redevelopment of the Arthur Street Estate in Erith is set to be signed off by councillors next week.

Housing association Orbit has proposed to bulldoze three 13-storey tower blocks and low-rise flats, claiming they are “no longer meeting modern standards.”

Planners at the council have now backed the scheme which will have 320 homes built across five blocks, all between three and nine storeys.

Refurbishing the estate would cost an estimated £51m, council documents explain.

In a new report, published this week, officers said: “This estate regeneration project will significantly improve the site, both visually and in terms of how it will function.

“A substantial number of new homes will be provided, with an uplift in affordable homes and affordable floorspace achieved as part of the overall provision.

“The proposal will help foster a more balanced and mixed community due to an approach that re-provides affordable housing tenures on site in a more diverse way.


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“An injection of market housing also works towards the diversification of the overall offer, representing 20 per cent of the units provided.”

The proposal will provide a total of 320 homes of which 80 per cent will be “affordable housing”, comprised of of 121 affordable rented homes, 77 shared ownership homes and 58 homes for London Living Rent.

Orbit said the redevelopment is needed as the estate has been plagued with crime and anti-social behaviour, not fixed by previous attempts to revitalise the area.

To facilitate the redevelopment, the council is planning on using its power to compulsorily purchase homes.

The development, however, leads to a loss of 133 socially rented homes, being replaced with a “mixed tenure community” made up of 80 per cent affordable housing.

Orbit has said in its planning statement there is a need for “sustainable tenure”, and a “programme approach” has been proposed where social rents will be provided over a series of other developments.

In November, opposition leader Daniel Francis expressed concern over the loss in socially rented homes.

He said at a full council meeting: “There’s a real concern that will have a direct impact on the availability of social housing.

“Our concern is the cause that will have on the number of homeless families and the extra pressure that will put on our homeless budget if we are losing socially rented homes.”

Orbit’s planning application said: “Our vision is to create a new residential neighbourhood to meet the needs of a wide range of people.

“The quality of Arthur Street will help to transform perceptions of Erith and Slade Green and will stimulate the market for well-designed homes set in a high-quality environment, demonstrating the success of regeneration.”

If the plans are approved, a shop and a dentist will be lost during the demolition and not replaced.

The plans are set to be approved by councillors at a meeting next Thursday, May 30.