Architect brought in to sell £234m renewal plan for London estate slams project after tenants vote against it.
Architect Will Alsop has hit out at a proposed estate regeneration project that he was brought in to promote after residents failed to take his advice.

Alsop took over the public consultation process for the Aylesbury estate, in Southwark, south London, in March last year with a brief to persuade tenants to accept a £234m renewal plan. Those tenants have now rejected it, with 70% voting against in a ballot held just before Christmas.

Alsop claimed that he was not allowed to do his job properly. "We were never told to do the public consultation exercise we thought needed to be done. We were not allowed to do what we are good at.

"I am disappointed, but not surprised [at the result]. I suspect, had we done what we should have done, the response would have been 'this is the way forward'."

Another area of contention is the masterplan, drawn up by EDAW and HTA Architects, which prescribes the demolition of 2000 houses.

He said: "You do not need to knock the buildings down. Some of the blocks are OK – they are good concrete frames. It's the walls and security that are rotten. If you added a lot more glass, a few more funny extensions and vary the rooflines a bit a lot of people would be very happy to live in the flats."

Ben Wilson, chief executive of the South London Family Housing Association, which is overseeing the scheme, said Alsop should have complained to Mace, which is co-ordinating the construction team.

Wilson added that he did not think the components of the masterplan were wrong, as the planners' brief had called for the demolition of most of the homes.

The tenants' vote is particularly embarrassing for the scheme's organisers as the estate has become a political symbol. Tony Blair went to Aylesbury to launch Labour's social inclusion policies two weeks after winning his first general election.