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100,000 sign petition in duke demolition row

Cundy Street and Walden House flats residents are fighting property group’s plans to pull down their homes

23 August, 2019 — By Briony Pickford

The Cundy Street flats

A PETITION to save a housing block has now been signed by more people than voted for Boris Johnson to be prime minister, supporters of the campaign have noted.

The online petition, which is run by residents of the Cundy Street and Walden flats in Belgravia, has more than 100,000 signatures including the actor and director David Schneider.

“If you have a moment, please sign to protect this community, and the homes of these people,” he told his social media followers.

Boris Johnson became prime minister last month after 92,153 Conservative party members voted for him.

Grosvenor, a property group owned by the Duke of Westminster – one of the richest people in the country who has an estimated worth of around £12bn – is planning to demolish the housing estate, which is home to mostly elderly residents who have lived in the area their whole lives.

Homes in Walden House have also been leased out to Westminster Council for tenants.

David Schneider: ‘If you have a moment, please sign to protect this community, and the homes of these people’

One of the signatories, Luke, who lives in the Walden House, posted a message saying “my whole life has revolved around this amazing community”.

Toby Mott, an artist and resident of Cundy Street flats, said: “This part of central London, with our blocks of flats, Cundy Street and Walden House, is a beautiful mixed community, where we all get along with our differing cultures and heritage.

“A great example of what makes London such a diverse and dynamic city. To destroy our homes to make way for more investment property will be killing off another community of our great city.”

The petition said: “We are a community that have been living in this area for over 40 years. Young families who have children that attend the local church school, elderly residents that should not be worried about losing their homes but rather be enjoying their retirement, single parents, and families that have been living here for generations.”

Grosvenor said: “We considered the impact on existing tenants carefully before confirming our in­tention to invest and have put in place a number of measures to help those affected plan for their future. The Cundy Street Quarter can provide a material increase in much-needed high quality housing in Westminster, particularly the need for more affordable homes in one of the most space constrained parts of the capital.

“We continue to see significant benefit for this project in terms of helping meet the growing housing gap in the borough and in providing new facilities for the community that are lacking elsewhere.”

• To get involved with the campaign email: savecundyandwalden@gmail.com

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