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Aims and ambitions

  • What is the purpose of this regeneration?

Many of the properties on the Estate do not provide the quality of accommodation that we seek for our residents. We want to provide our residents with good quality homes designed to meet modern standards.  

Everything we do at Clarion is guided by our social purpose. It is our firm intention to develop a high quality scheme that will provide social housing in Chelsea for our existing residents and for generations to come. 

Clarion residents

  • What does this proposed regeneration mean for existing residents living in the Sutton Estate?

All our residents will be able to remain on the Estate and will live in homes that meet modern living and space standards.

  • They will all retain their security of tenure and remain on social rents (some 20% of local market rent levels).
  • Residents will only have to move once and will be able to move straight into new homes
  • They will receive a comprehensive package of support from our dedicated resident liaison manager.
  • They will also benefit from a payment of £6,100

Securing the future of social housing

  • Why can’t Clarion simply refurbish the buildings in the Estate?

Refurbishment of the Sutton Estate is simply not possible due to a lack of Government funding for refurbishment projects and the challenges around the age, condition and layout of the Estate.

The existing flats are simply not fit for the future and it is uneconomic to improve them to modern standards. Refurbishment would also involve a significant loss of flats to bring them up to modern standards for social rent.

Refurbishment is not a realistic, practical or affordable option. This is an approach that has also been agreed with RBKC.

  • Will any of the blocks be retained?

Yes, Leverstock and Maylands Houses will be retained and have recently benefitted from a series of internal improvement works. The accommodation and the layout of these blocks, with their street scene is far better than the rest of the Estate. These blocks also contain shops on the ground floor which are very popular with both our residents and the local community and positively contribute to Chelsea Green.

  • Will the height of buildings on the new estate be taller than the existing blocks?

No, there will be no increase in the height of buildings on the estate. All buildings will be between four and six storeys high.

Local retailers

  • What will happen to the shops on Chelsea Green?

Clarion understands that local businesses are important to the community and therefore local shops will be retained. We will also be providing more additional retail space as part of this regeneration scheme.

Access through the estate

  • What changes will be made to access through the estate?

The regeneration gives us the opportunity to significantly improve on the layout of the current Estate and recreate the historic route connecting Cale Street to Marlborough Street.  This route will  mainly be for the use of pedestrians, with the community square and centre at its heart and leading to the existing archways, which will be retained. In addition, a new cobbled walkway from Elystan Street to Cale Street will be created.

We are a business for a social purpose

  • Will Clarion be profiting from this scheme?

No, Clarion is a charity so cannot profit from the regeneration. We reinvest all our surpluses into building new homes, investing in our existing homes and supporting the communities in which our residents live. Despite recent Government changes which present funding challenges for us, and a significant decrease to our income over the coming years, we are committed to this regeneration for the benefit of all our residents. No Affinity Sutton executive director, board member or staff will benefit personally in any way from this or any other scheme we develop. Our motives and indeed our fiduciary duty are to manage our housing assets in the long term best interests of our current residents and others in housing need.

Sutton Model Dwellings

  • I’ve heard some rumours about the missing word on the brickwork at the entrance to the Sutton Estate. What word was it and why was it taken down?

When Clarion became responsible for the Sutton Estate in 2006, the word between ‘Sutton’ and ‘Dwellings’ had already been removed.

Research has confirmed that the missing word was ‘Model’. Sutton Model Dwellings built the estate in 1913 and added their name to the outside of the building. The Estate’s name reflected explicitly the wishes of its benefactor William Sutton in his will. In 1927 Sutton Model Dwellings decided to remove the word ‘Model’ from its name and to become Sutton Dwellings, we believe following the name change the word ‘Model’ was removed from the front of the Sutton Estate to reflect this. There is a photograph of the Estate in 1981 showing the change having been made.

Funding the regeneration

  • What percentage of the new properties will be for private sale?

Across the regenerated Estate, 75% of properties will continue to be available for social rent and will allow for every Clarion resident currently living on the Estate to be re-housed and for future generations of residents.  The remainder of properties will be for private sale – this is necessary to fund the regeneration.   

A 'tenure blind' approach will be taken across the new homes to ensure that external architectural features such as entrances, materials and amenity are visually the same for all. A range of penthouses and duplex flats will also be available for both social and private residents.

Will Clarion be selling off properties to foreign investors?

To fund the future of affordable housing on the Sutton Estate in Chelsea a quarter of the overall Estate (not just the new homes) will be for private sale. 

This is necessary to fund the regeneration. 

Responsible and safe construction management

  • What will be done to reduce the impact on local residents during construction?

As part of the planning application we will produce a draft Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP) and a draft Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) which you will be able to comment on.

The contractor will be required to register with the Considerate Constructors Scheme. This code of practice requires the contractor to be considerate, keep the site clean, safe and secure, comply with set working hours and regularly consult with neighbours.

What happens next

  • What happens next?

Our planning application was submitted to RBKC on 31 July 2015. RBKC's public consultation on our proposals ended on Friday 11 December 2015. The Council has reviewed the comments received and considered the application. On the 15th November 2016, RBKC's planning committee voted to refuse our application to regenerate the Estate.

We are deeply disappointed with RBKC's decision and know that many of our residents were too. So, in June 2017, Clarion lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate as we firmly believe redevelopment is the best option for both our residents and to secure the future of social housing in Chelsea.

As part of our appeal, we are proposing to slightly amend the scheme and would like to gather the thoughts of residents and the local community on this change. We are hosting consultation events in February and hope to see you there. 


If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us using the contact details provided.