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Letters: Diverse mix makes for real communities

I was disappointed to read the scepticism towards the potential for "pepperpotting" in plans for the redevelopment of the Heygate estate (Homes under the hammer, G2, 4 March). Having lived on a Southwark council estate for three years as a private tenant, and served as an active member of the Tenants and Residents Association, I experienced the richness that a diverse estate community can bring. With tenants both private and council as well as homeowners working together to improve their communities, a wide range of interests and expertise can be drawn on to tackle local issues, support neighbours and lobby the council for change. Without a mix of residents, an estate may risk perceived "ghettoism" and development of social stigmas towards council housing. I hope that once the regeneration project is complete, relocated people will return to Heygate and take a role in building a new community in the area.

Elle Perry


• The reason Utopia on Trial is, as Stephen Moss says, influential – it continues to sell 26 years after we first published it – is because its evidence-based recommendations for changes in the design of housing estates, when put into practice, have improved residents' living conditions. Demolition is avoidable. The polemical extract quoted in the article is from Professor Alice Coleman's summing up, but her conclusions are based on a survey of over 100,000 dwellings, mainly in Southwark and Tower Hamlets, and not on a political view.

Hilary Macaskill and Michael Shipman

Hilary Shipman Limited © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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