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The Guardian: "Barnet's Sweets Way shows London what regeneration should look like"

"While new luxury developments force out established communities, former residents of the boarded-up estate have refurbished a home for only £300"

Link to web site

"On the penultimate stop of the Northern Line on the London Underground, behind drooping sycamores and down a quiet path, lie 142 boarded-up homes – formerly known as the Sweets Way estate. Every home has its own drive and little garden, and running past each one is a narrow road overlooked by streetlamps. There is a strange quietude to the place now, as though its former residents have simply vanished into thin air and left the estate perfectly preserved behind them.

"Following an agreement with Barnet council, all 142 homes will soon be demolished to make way for 229 new houses and flats, including 59 'affordable' homes. In practice, 'affordable' means the homes will be sold at 80% of the market rate, which in this area of London can be anywhere between £300,000 and £700,000 – prohibitively expensive for any of the former residents.

"Sweets Way estate will become Sweets Way Park, and developers Annington boast they can 'bring new life to local communities through new developments and by enhancing surrounding environments'. Annington's utopian vision of Sweets Way Park, symbolised by the image on its website of a crisp, gleaming family skipping hand-in-hand through the development, belies the reality of events at Sweets Way.

"According to some residents, though it's not clear who was responsible for the evictions, they involved people being dragged screaming out of their homes in February and then offered alternative accommodation as far away as Essex and Luton."

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