In light of recent articles on the Sutton Estate I thought your readers might appreciate an update on the other example of attempted "social engineering" in the heart of Chelsea.
As your readers are no doubt aware those living in the western-most corner of Chelsea were treated to an "interesting" summer thanks to Council-inspired proposals to build a Crossrail 2 station on the site of the Cremorne estate. Proposals that would have resulted in the estate's demolition and the forced relocation of its residents. The locals - residents and neighbours of the estate alike - did not take particularly kindly to the proposals, on which they had never been properly consulted by the Council. They mobilised quickly and campaigned to generate a massive and unequivocal response to the TfL consultation then underway. Sadly it appears that the Council haven't taken particularly kindly to this turn of events.
At a recent meeting of the Kings Road Association of Chelsea Residents those who campaigned against the proposals were referred to as "trolls, troublemakers and activists" by the Leader of the Council. You would have hoped such churlish comments would be beneath both the Council and the Leader, but sadly it appears not.
News of the proposals had originally leaked from within Kensington and Chelsea TMO, the company managing the Council's housing. This would not have been appreciated by the Council and the TMO now appears intent on making amends by crippling the estate's Residents Association. The TMO have written to the Association notifying it that all future communication must be made in writing through its complaints department and that any attempts to contact individual members of staff, including the housing officers and technical staff responsible for the estate, will simply be ignored. Members of staff have confirmed an edict from above to that effect: do not communicate with the Cremorne Estate Residents Association, force them to put everything in writing, cause delay, slow everything down, wear the residents out. An interesting stance for a supposedly "resident led" housing management company whose shareholders include many of the estate's residents!
All in all not what one would have hoped from either the Council or the TMO. Some might be inclined to suggest that it would be wiser for them all to sit down, ponder what happened and attempt to re-open the lines of communication but I fear that they have already taken a leaf out of the "Housing Association's Regeneration Handbook" (currently on loan to Affinity Sutton) and consider antagonising the locals further a more appropriate strategy.
This is not behaviour befitting the Royal Borough. We are all being let down.
Peeved and disappointed of Chelsea