Housing complex residents accuse developers of ‘segregating’ children at London playground

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
The developers of the housing complex have been accused of ‘segregating’ children (Henley Homes)

Residents of a south London housing complex have accused developers of “segregating” children after those from social housing homes were blocked from a communal playground.

The 149-flat development on Lollard Street in Kennington has been split into two separate parts – 36 social housing properties at Wren Mews and private owners at the Baylis Old School Estate.

Wren Mews residents say that the communal play area can only be enjoyed by those living in private homes, according to the BBC.

Louise Whitley, a private owner whose children are friends with youngsters from Wren Mews, told the Guardian: “They’re segregating the children.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire tweeted his thoughts on the claims (Twitter)

“We bought a flat here because it was marketed as family-friendly.

“But now our children’s friends look down from their windows and can’t come and join us.

“We want them to be given back the access that was shown in the original plans.”

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Developers Henley Homes say walls and hedges that enclose the play area marks the border between the two separate developments.

But Lambeth Council’s cabinet member for planning, Matthew Bennett, described the “segregation” as “completely unacceptable” and not in the original planning application.

He said access to the playground had been “changed by the management company” and the council had written to Henley Homes “as a matter of urgency”.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire tweeted: “Kids being excluded from enjoying a play area on the same development because they live in social housing is outrageous.”

Nicky Gavron, chair of the London Assembly planning committee, added: “This is a moment for Government to take action and ensure adequate play and recreation space for *all* children in new developments.”

Henley Homes said the development was “two neighbouring estates” with Warwick Estates managing the private part and Guinness Partnership the social housing side.

A spokeswoman said the issue was a matter for those bodies and residents to “discuss amongst themselves and agree a way forward”.

Guinness Partnership said: “We would be delighted if our customers’ children could access play areas on the rest of the development.”

Warwick Estates declined to comment.

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