Does regenerating an area benefit everyone?


Tottenham, One Year After The London Riots

Regeneration of an area usually means more housing, better amenities and a general 'cleaning up' of an area. If regeneration is being talked about it is usually safe to say the area isn't the nicest place.

Regeneration is exactly what is happening where I live in Tottenham but instead of being welcomed with open arms our local paper is carrying news of angry shopkeepers bemoaning the money being invested.

They have accused the council of 'gentrification' under the guise of regeneration and of trying to sweep away Tottenham's current community and local shops. They believe the area will be replaced by big name high street brands and housing that only 'City workers' will be able to afford.

Regeneration is seen as progress to many, cleaning up the worst areas of London and making them better areas in which to live and bring up children. For people like me it also means seeing my house price increase, which of course I'm pleased about. The area has 'come up' considerably in the three years I've lived here and in a way the increase in house prices could be seen as payback for the times when it wasn't the best place to live.

But there is a moral argument about 'gentrification'. While it's good for people like me who have saved and bought a house, it isn't so good for those who are being priced out of the housing market. By gentrifying areas, people are pushed further away form owning a home.

For those living in Tottenham, they are paying taxes that are being sunk back into their area but the result is that the investment means they are subsequently priced out of their area. This doesn't seem fair to me.

Surely the councils must realise the impact of their regeneration and make sure that people who are settled in the area are able to stay there, both shopkeepers and residents.

I don't want to live in branded enclave with reams of look-a-like apartments full of the same people. I want to live in a mixed community with a community feel and I'm sure most people would agree with that sentiment.

Councils shouldn't forget who pays the taxes that pays for the regeneration of their areas. Neither should they brush over the concerns of local residents, even those whose house prices are benefiting from the investment