Greens slam developer for using cladding crisis ‘as a front’ to convert social housing block into luxury flats

Green Party councillors in St David’s ward in Exeter have described the planned conversion of council flats into ‘New York style luxury flats’ [1] as a ‘disgrace.’

Concord House on South Street had 28 flats that were let as social housing, but tenants were moved out last year due to concerns over the safety of the cladding that had been used. The existing flats will now be refurbished by developer NooKo to what they describe as “a luxurious standard”, with just six of them set to be “affordable”.

Green councillor Amy Sparling, who is councillor in the ward where the redevelopment is taking place, said:

“Exeter desperately needs more affordable social housing, not more luxury flats. Even the so called ‘affordable’ homes will be more expensive than the former social rent homes. What makes this saga even more galling is the fact that social housing tenants were moved from their homes due to very serious safety issues over cladding. The Council were asked to and indeed provided significant assistance to help move tenants out.”

Councillor Diana Moore, another St David’s councillor, said:

“These people have now lost those homes because a developer has decided to use the cladding issue as a front to convert the block into luxury flats. This is a disgrace, it will do nothing to help address Exeter’s chronic housing crisis, Indeed, throwing people out of social housing can only make matters worse.”

Councillor Tess Read, St David’s third Green councillor, added:

“To add insult to injury, it appears this has the blessing of the Labour-led Council. Labour simply cannot be trusted on planning and housing matters in Exeter. It seems they are more interested in boosting developers’ profits than they are in providing affordable housing for those most in need.” 



[1] Social housing block in Exeter to be turned into luxury flats – Devon Live


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