In 2014, demolition started on the Heygate estate’s 1,212 council homes. Council leader Peter John describes the Heygate and Aylesbury estates as “symbols of inner-city neglect, with crime, antisocial behaviour, health inequalities and unemployment the only things that flourished there”.
The estate was fully decanted of residents by the beginning of 2008. Council tenants were promised a “Right to Return”, but the lack of social housing on the new development and the passage of time rendered this largely useless. The 180 or so leaseholders had to depend on inadequate compensation to buy their new homes and many moved out of London.
In 2017 an investigation of the London housing market by Transparency International - ‘Faulty Towers’ - found that ‘off-plan’ sales of new homes, before they were built, was ‘dominated’ by overseas investors.