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Agenda item

Clarion Regeneration


At the invitation of the Chair, Cypren Edmunds, Chair of the High Path Resident’s Association, gave his thoughts on the regeneration project. Cypren discussed Shelter’s ‘vision for social housing report’ and its relevance to this discussion. He explained that despite the positive attributes of social housing, it is looked down upon by many. He told the Panel that although he had previously articulated concerns about Clarion, previously known as Circle, to senior management they had not been listened to and as such the resident’s confidence level is low.

Dave Treanor, local resident, stated he felt that far more families could be housed if non-profit rental was made a priority. He urged Clarion and the Council to split the units as half not for profit rental / half for sale.



Nigel Benbow, Councillor for Abbey Ward, spoke on behalf of his residents who had felt previous meetings with Clarion had been very one-sided without any acknowledgement of the residents’ unhappiness. Despite asking residents to come forward to talk at this meeting, sadly most have given up, thinking whatever they say, will be ignored. He added that he supports the regeneration but does not want to see current residents and maintenance work being forgotten. 

Paul Quinn, Director of Merton Regeneration for Clarion Housing, was asked by the Chair to respond to the speakers concerns.

In response to the comments from Dave Treanor, Paul outlined the Section 106 agreement with an arrangement that any surplus money will get reinvested back into Merton.

In response to Cllr Benbow’s point around people not being listened to, Paul disputed that as based on the extensive consultation so far, Clarion’s feeling is that the great majority of people on the three estates welcome the regeneration plans.

In response to Cypren Edmunds, Paul agreed that the Shelter report is very interesting and Clarion are keen to build as much affordable housing as possible.

The Chair thanked the speakers for coming and Paul Quinn for his comments.

Paul Quinn provided an update report on the Clarion Regeneration. He outlined the progress made thus far and the next steps in terms of planning application dates. Clarion are continuing to run an extensive programme of community engagement.

Clarion recognise there are significant levels of overcrowding in all three sites and all residents, whether homeowner or tenant, will be rehoused in a home of appropriate size.

The Chair asked the panel members for any questions of clarification. In response to member questions, Paul Quinn clarified the following;

  • A panel member asked how Clarion will manage communication with the wider area that is affected by the works. Paul Quinn responded that Clarion acknowledge the need for ongoing communication and to find new ways of engaging. We have been good at formal consultation of forums and letters, but now plan to extend our use of digital consultations.
  • Merton CIL have carried out independent research on how the needs of disabled people can best be met. The intention is to have a bespoke response to each disabled individual we rehome.
  • There are currently no plans for regeneration of Laburnum Court.
  • With regards to health facilities, GP surgeries and roads - there is a formal trigger in the planning applications and if required we take direction from the health providers on what they need. There are no plans for new roads, and whilst Clarion don’t take a position on naming, we are in favour of those that live there being a part of that decision. The Director of Corporate Services pointed out that there is a street naming policy which must be adhered to.
  • All Compulsory Purchase Orders are covered by national legislation which Clarion follow.
  • With regards to the Large Estates Allocation Fund. Jane Bolton, Head of Housing Services for Clarion, explained that The LEAF fund has not been fully spent in recent years due mainly due to a lack of suitable proposals coming through that meet the criteria for funding (i.e. an environmental improvement or a project that will benefit the wider community), or a lack of support when suggestions are put to residents to vote on. The process needs to be revitalised and our Resident Involvement Team will be active this year.
  • Regular discussions have been held with Transport for London about the impact of the Sutton Link extension on the regeneration in order to accommodate the plans.
  • The worst overcrowding is in Eastfields with around 35%, High Path is similar but slightly lower at 30% and Ravensbury has around 20%.

ACTION: Paul Quinn agreed to let the Panel know number of families in each of the estates who would benefit living in overcrowded conditions who will benefit from theregeneration. 


Councillor Natasha Irons, Ravensbury Ward, asked;

  1. Is there a contractor on board and what is their history?
  2. How many homeowners will be affected by the first Compulsory Purchase Order on Ravensbury?
  3. What would be done to minimise disruption?
  4. How do Clarion intend to mitigate the mistrust and negative feelings from residents?

Paul Quinn replied that United Living are the main contractor and are very well known. There will be no more than 3, possibly two, CPO’s required. We want to engage residents and this will be done by having good relationships with the contractors, keeping residents in the loop and ensuring the first phase of homes are really good so residents will see they are high quality and want to move in to them.


Clarion Housing were thanked for their report and agreed to return in twelve months with an update on the regeneration.