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Sir Paul Beresford: I hear the small smiles. Not only are those dangerous words, but they are totally unjustified.
Column 610We are working with the community. The hon. Gentleman talks about regeneration and mentioned, in fact, my previous hat of responsibility. Some of us have been through a different approach to regeneration from that which he is able to see.
Social housing provision is, of course, important in any regeneration, especially in areas as massive as docklands. We must appreciate the pressure on local authorities to meet their obligations and aspirations in that context. Indeed, in Beckton, the LDDC, in partnership with the London borough of Newham, has contributed more than £27 million towards the provision of 861 new housing units. The dense concentration of social housing, to the exclusion of shared ownership, private ownership and private rented accommodation, will bring us back to the same stagnant communities that we have had to deal with in regeneration, not only in that area, but in the rest of London.
The results of the policies are there to be seen. The results of the policies as tested elsewhere are there to be seen. The mixed tenure is a success. More than 75 per cent. of existing households south of the royal docks are socially rented accommodation, where there are high levels of unemployment and high levels of dependence on housing benefit. That has patently failed. It is also obvious that any new developments must avoid simply adding more of the same. The urban village in the royal docks seeks to establish a balanced community with a mix of social housing, shared ownership, private housing and private rented housing. The London borough of Newham has been closely involved in the planning and supports it, as do the Peabody housing trust and the East London housing association. In time to come, I hope and anticipate that the more reticent Member present today, the hon. Member for Newham, North-East, will recognise the importance of the achievements and will follow us and applaud the achievements of the London Docklands development corporation. Question put and agreed to.
Adjourned accordingly at five minutes past Three o'clock.
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