Chris Williamson backed demolition of council flats to make way for 5* hotel

Chris Williamson is touring the country attack Labour councils' plans to replace social housing stock, but under his leadership Derby Council planned to demolish council flats to make way for a 5* hotel.

Chris Williamson is touring the country attack Labour councils’ plans to replace social housing stock, but under his leadership Derby Council planned to demolish council flats to make way for a 5* hotel.

Williamson is due to visit Brighton later this month where Momentum campaigners are said to be ramping up a campaign to deselect Labour councillors backing a plan to build 1,000 new homes. Last week he visited Haringey to speak to Momentum campaigners opposing the local council’s controversial HDV housing project, saying on Twitter that it “did threaten the homes of working class residents”.

But it was residents of Exeter House in Derby that found their homes threatened back in 2007 when Williamson’s Derby Council decided to demolish their block of flats.

Planning records show that Exter House was due to be demolished to make way for a “residential, office, leisure and ancillary retail” scheme to “bring much needed regeneration”. The council required just 30 percent of homes in the development to be affordable housing – less than the 40 percent affordable homes promised by Haringey’s HDV.

The development also included plans for a 5* hotel which would at a capacity of 208 would have had more rooms than there were affordable homes in the development.

Had the plans gone ahead, 41 families would have been forced to move despite the fact that planners admitted Exeter House was “an easy to manage scheme that does not present any particular maintenance issues”.

The plans were eventually dropped, but Exeter House is again facing an uncertain future under new proposals from Derby City Council.

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