Further to your article on 8 October (page 18), entitled “John Laing quits troubled Hackney estate scheme”, while John Laing has withdrawn from the regeneration scheme in Haggerston West & Kingsland, the council and London & Quadrant remain firmly committed to the project.
The reason for leaving the scheme that you attributed to Laing was unhelpful and misleading, and it reflects its different view towards the costs associated with the sale of private housing and building costs inflation.
Furthermore, the scheme was not delayed last year and Hackney council did not have plans to sell the estates to a housing association. The reality is that Hackney council plans to transfer the estates to L&Q in return for the construction of 381 new affordable dwellings.
Inevitably, there will be a delay to the ballot, however, the council and L&Q will work together with the estate development management committee to ensure that a new developer is selected that can deliver the scheme.
Despite the despondency of the nameless housing expert we are confident that Haggerston West has a great a future. At the end of the works, we expect the estate to be transformed into a good place to live, locally managed with residents for a sustainable neighbourhood.
Jamie Carswell, cabinet member for housing, London Borough of Hackney, via email