Our tower block is set to be demolished… but estate agents are still showing renters around – we're being kicked out | The Sun

ESTATE agents are still showing renters around a development despite it being earmarked for demolition.

Residents – themselves being turfed out – say they are shocked at how prospective occupants are being kept in the dark about its fate.

And despite the two mutant towers at Mast Quay II in Woolwich, East London, facing the wrecking ball, viewings were allegedly taking place as recently as this weekend.

Isiah, who lives in Sky Sail house, which will be knocked down, told The Sun: "They've told us it may get demolished but Hamptons are still showing people around the flats.

"There were people going round this weekend. It's mad.

"I don't understand how we can get to this magnitude without someone stepping in and doing something. 

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"I just don't know what is going on. It's just wrong. I'm looking at moving but we don't really know when."

Residents were left gobsmacked on Wednesday when they learned via email that 204 homes on the estate would be knocked down.

Mast Quay II broke planning permission, as the blocks looked nothing like the plans and failed to deliver green spaces, Greenwich Council say.

Instead of sleek glass facades, green spaces and a roof garden, Royal Sail House and Sky Sail House ended up looking "like a prison".

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And residents bemoaned the "tiny windows" peppering it's "ugly" grey and orange cladding.

But Ellie, 30, a GP who lives in older neighbouring Lower Mast building, which will not be demolished, said she wouldn’t care if the blocks were knocked down.

She told The Sun: "We’ve watched it go up bit by bit, it looks nothing like the photos, we were all really surprised of how different it looks.

“It looks quite cheaply built to be honest compared to the original, it just looks like a prison.

“I don’t think it’s right, if you’re undermining the whole process of planning permission, there’s a reason why it’s there.

"If they get away with it then anyone can get away with it and it will open the doors for developers to do whatever they want.

“I’m not worried about it being demolished, I think they’re the ugliest thing. I don’t really enjoy living next to it."

Despite the uncertain future, Ellie doesn't reckon the £36million development will actually get demolished and thinks developers will reach a compromise.

Those living in the blocks, which overlook the Thames and toward London City Airport, told The Sun the scandal has left renters, some who pay £1,700-a-month for a one bed flat, devastated.

One homeowner of five months told The Sun: "It was surprising for me, if you were in my shoes you would be shocked.

"To demolish a new tower ruins plans for everyone. I hope they find a solution, I know they have breached 26 points, that's a lot to redo.

"Even if it gets demolished or not, I am going to look for another place."

Developer Comer Homes Group breached 26 planning conditions and allowed renters to move in, despite warnings to keep the flats empty while an investigation was ongoing.

The site, which only opened last year, only has around 70 of the 204 units occupied.

Me Escali has lived in Lower Mast house, which is not impacted by the demolition order, since 2013.

He told The Sun of the demolition: “I read it in the news that it was planned and what was built in 2012 was not the same.

“Demolishing it is a hard decision, they can’t fix the problems? That’s better than demolishing.

"In London we need more housing, not demolishing them.”

Discussing the possibility of living next to a demolition site, he added: “We had two or three years when they were building that were affecting everyone."

And he said he felt sorry for the renters, adding: “I don’t want them to demolish this, if there are problems, sure, but they should try.”

One 27-year-old international student told The Sun they only learned of the fate of their block when they saw it on the news

She said: "It's very sad if residents have to move out. They were promised something and it hasn't happened.

"We have not been given a time frame. I think they're trying to fight it.

"I think it would be really nice if the changes could be changed, if they can put in green spaces and the rooftop terrace would be wonderful."

Meanwhile Sharaddha Qureshi, who has lived next door in Lower Mast House for three months, had no idea the site was set to be torn down until approached by The Sun on Thursday.

She is scared of the pollution demolition will bring.

The 37-year-old said: "It's a huge, huge building, there will be a lot of pollution in the air.

"It's going to spoil the water. I am not keen. It's going to be bad for a long long time.

"It's such a nice building, it gives a posh feeling to the area. 

"It is newly made, the quality is better."

Hamptons Estate agents were approached for comment.

Greenwich Council said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich has taken the decision, as the local planning authority, to progress with enforcement action against the Comer Homes Group’s Mast Quay Phase II development of two residential towers, one of which is stepped, with 23, 11, nine and six storeys, located on Woolwich Church Street, London SE18.

“The Council’s extensive investigation over the last year has concluded that the completed Mast Quay Phase II built-to rent-development has been built without planning permission and is therefore unlawful because it is so substantially different to the scheme that was originally permitted by the planning permission given in 2012."

Comer said it was "surprised and extremely disappointed by the decision" and claimed the public statements released are "inaccurate and misrepresent the position and our actions".

They also said they are "prioritising the interests of residents" and will continue to "do all that we can to assist them to remain secure in their homes while we respond to the council's actions".

A statement added: "We will be appealing against the enforcement notice and look forward to robustly correcting the inaccuracies and addressing the council's concerns.

"We have over many months sought to engage constructively with the council, and not withstanding these disproportionate actions, remain willing to do so.

"We are justly proud of our track record of delivering high quality developments across the United Kingdom.



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"In our view, the council's concerns regarding Mast Quay Phase II can be addressed through following normal process and engaging with us on a retrospective planning application.

"We encourage the Council to meet with us and agree a way forward which will avoid wasting significant sums of taxpayers' money on litigation when sensible solutions to their concerns are available."

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