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To: Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association, Islington Council

No demolition on St Mary's Path Estate

Dear supporters,

Earlier this week our landlord, Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA), had a board meeting at which the future of our estate was decided. St Mary’s Path Estate Tenants Association were invited to make a representation and we called on the board to reject demolition as argued in our petition.

We are very happy to report that demolition has now been completely ruled out on St Mary’s Path Estate! Thanks to your support, we have won our campaign against the destruction of our homes. Massive thanks to each and everyone of you!

No demolition on St Mary's Path Estate

We ask that Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA) drop their proposal to demolish St Mary's House, a sound building with no structural fault, and rethink their refurbishment project for St Mary's Path Estate. We also call on Islington Council to reject demolition and support a sustainable refurbishment alternative on the basis of the Climate Emergency they have just declared.

Why is this important?

RESIDENTS AGAINST DEMOLITION
In January 2018, a large majority of residents (2/3 of households) came out against demolition of any building on the estate in a statement. In their latest consultation, ISHA put demolition back on the table and refuse to be bound by the residents preferred choice, making consultation a meaningless exercise. We ask that ISHA respect the democratic will of residents and drop their unjustified demolition plans, which would negatively impact residents, the wider community and the environment.

A HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL COST
Research shows that demolition is far worse for the environment than refurbishment. Building new homes uses four to eight times more resources than an equivalent refurbishment. This is partly due to the "embodied carbon" stored in existing buildings. Along with all the new material which would be needed for a new build, demolition would cause an enormous amount of unnecessary carbon emissions. This demolition would undermine Islington Council’s declaration of a “climate emergency” and their aim for Islington to become net zero carbon by 2030.

A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
Demolition has a negative effect on the physical and mental health of residents, leading to stress, anxiety and depression. Many of the estate's elderly residents, those with young children and others who would be more impacted by living on a building site feel they will be forced to move away if demolition goes ahead. Demolition is very intrusive so neighbours, surrounding businesses, and anyone quietly enjoying the adjacent St Mary's Gardens would also suffer from the massive disruption of living next to a construction site for years.

BETTER ALTERNATIVES EXIST
Whatever ISHA are trying to achieve, alternatives to demolition have been shown to be cheaper, less intrusive and more sustainable. Ambitious refurbishment / retrofit projects have been successful for estates similar to ours and are known to be a much more effective and rational approach in terms of time, cost, community impact, reuse of existing infrastructures and long-term reduced energy use. And if ISHA need to add more homes, infill building on areas which are currently unused could achieve better results than demolition without the disruption and considerably negative impact on residents and the wider community.

MORE DEMOLITION AHEAD?
ISHA’s proposed new build would only achieve 2 more flats. With “at least one additional storey”, it would most likely result in a loss of light for St Mary’s Gardens. If demolition goes ahead, this could also set a precedent. If ISHA can get away with demolishing a sound block now, what would stop them gradually demolishing the other blocks on the estate and creating over a decade of unnecessary disruption and pollution for the community? ISHA’s plans are unjustified, unnecessary and only seem to be motivated by the prospect of a potentially lucrative new build off Upper Street.

Rather than go ahead with demolition, we ask that ISHA work with residents and take up the opportunity to design an innovative refurbishment project that would genuinely benefit the local community. We also call on Islington Council to back sustainable refurbishment of social housing rather than its demolition, in line with the Climate Emergency they have just declared.

St Mary's Path Estate Tenants and Residents Association https://protectourestatetogether.wordpress.com
Please share widely!

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For further information on the issues mentioned, please see the following reports and research:

ENVIRONMENTAL COST OF DEMOLITION
http://www.engineering.ucl.ac.uk/engineering-exchange/files/2014/10/Report-Refurbishment-Demolition-Social-Housing.pdf
https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/ad_52_anne_power_-_does_demolition_or_refurbishment_.pdf
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/engineering-exchange/sites/engineering-exchange/files/fact-sheet-embodied-carbon-social-housing.pdf

IMPACT OF DEMOLITION ON HEALTH
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/engineering-exchange/sites/engineering-exchange/files/fact-sheet-health-and-wellbeing-social-housing.pdf

ALTERNATIVES TO DEMOLITION
http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cr/casereport120.pdf
https://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/pdf/10.1680/udap.2010.163.4.205

London Borough of Islington, London

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Reasons for signing

  • To stop the social cleansing by stealth & to protect residents & the community which has formed over the generations - everyman’s home is his castle - and every person should not be in fear of losing it!
  • My grandfather and his family lived in these flats since they helped build them, it’s pure greed there’s no need to destroy them
  • I signed to support what the residents say themselves that 'ISHA should respect the democratic will of residents and drop their unjustified demolition plans'.

Updates

2019-09-23 11:27:49 +0100

Petition is successful with 616 signatures

2019-09-10 14:35:10 +0100

500 signatures reached

2019-07-25 12:35:04 +0100

100 signatures reached

2019-07-24 22:21:14 +0100

50 signatures reached

2019-07-24 20:21:26 +0100

25 signatures reached

2019-07-24 19:44:30 +0100

10 signatures reached