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At The Holland Estate

April 10, 2015
by the gentle author

Holland Estate in the eighties photographed by Phil Maxwell

More than six hundred residents of Brune House, Bernard House & Carter House on the Holland Estate (between Brune St & Wentworth St) are understandably alarmed to discover that East End Homes, the housing association which manages their Estate, has applied for pre-planning permission to demolish their homes prior to any consultation.

Meanwhile a twenty million pound refurbishment programme, including the installation of lifts, promised in 2006 has not materialised and an image of a twenty-five storey high rise development replacing the current dignified brick structures dating from 1928 has done nothing to allay residents’ fears. Consequently, they are reluctant to take part in any ‘consultation’ lest this be interpreted as tacit consent.

Instead, they are planning a protest against the proposals outside the offices of East End Homes at Resolution Place next to Denning Point, tomorrow Saturday 11th April between 11am & 3pm, and anyone who would like to learn more and show their solidarity with the residents is very welcome to attend.

In celebration of the vibrant community of the Holland Estate, I publish this gallery of photographs by Phil Maxwell recording life on the Estate in the nineteen-eighties.

The Holland Estate today

Looking north-west across Spitalfields from Denning Point, East End Homes’ proposal for the redevelopment of the Holland Estate with a twenty-five storey block in the centre

Photographs copyright © Phil Maxwell

You can follow the Residents Against Demolition campaign on



Twitter  @bbcresidents

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Jasmine Stone & Samantha Middleton , Campaigning Stratford Mothers

Lindsey Garrett, Chairman of the New Era Estate Tenants Association

10 Responses leave one →
  1. April 10, 2015

    Dear Gentle Author,

    Thank you for highlighting through your post the situation here on the Holland Estate. What is happening here is certainly not unique it is almost par for the course for many of what were exclusively social housing estates (prior to the conservative right to buy of the early 1980s) all over London.

    It is like constantly living under threat with a sniper on the wardrobe – there is nothing essential about these proposed developments it is no more than pure unabated greed. Fortunately the fabulously mixed community on the Holland Estate are predominately united in their cause to retain their homes. Drawing on the diverse skills and contacts many of the residents have access to in the media, law and public relations field this promises to be an interesting situation.

  2. April 10, 2015

    I feel very sad for the residents – once again greed for profit is threatening people’s homes. Valerie

  3. Max Reeves permalink
    April 10, 2015

    Thanks for posting this very worrying story. We at Wheler House, being part of the Holland Estate too, are included in this cynical attempt to destroy our community for profeit. We are devestated. Thanks for supporting us and highlighting our plight.

  4. Angie permalink
    April 10, 2015

    The news is shocking. There is housing crisis but to build a multi-storey building in such a confined space goes against sustaining communities. Weren’t the lessons of the sixties a clue? ?
    With plans to build 5 sky scrapers at nearby will destroy the area for good. This is shocking news.

  5. Vicky permalink
    April 10, 2015

    I’m appalled, this is a lovely small estate. Whenever I pass it I admire the beautiful brickwork but most of all it’s a well established community and has everything which goes with that. I will turn up tomorrow and show that I care.

  6. Nainesh permalink
    April 10, 2015

    There is a REAL COMMUNITY in the Estate, which will be lost forever if the Estate is demolished.

    The buildings are structurally sound all they need is some tender loving care (REFURBISHMENT)!!!

    EastendHomes you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!

  7. April 10, 2015

    Completely miserable, but nevertheless peaceful spheres!

    Love & Peace

  8. April 10, 2015

    Your photos graphically illustrate the crime that East End Homes (EEH) are seeking to perpetrate. WE MUST UNITE TO STOP THEM! I’m standing in the general election as the ‘Left Unity – TUSC’ candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow. One of my key campaign issues is to stop private developers stealing any more of our borough. Please come to our public meeting on 16th April (next Thursday) 7pm, at St Hilda’s East, Club Row. Campaigners from Holland estate, Save the Joiners and Bishopsgate Goodsyard Action all invited. Please contact me for more details.

  9. April 10, 2015

    Thank you for highlighting this. I think this story is such a sign of our times it deserves widespread attention, as housing association seem to be losing sight of why they were set up in the first place and are mutating into hard core property companies who are using the improvement of housing stock as an excuse for indulging in speculative development.

    The natural end of all this is that no council tenant in an area that is becoming desirable to those on a higher income will be safe in their own home. If you live on land that someone else desires, you may be asked to make way to maximise your social landlords earnings. And no one will lose much sleep over it. Their consultation is a PC sham. In Poplar tenants displaced by the redevelopment of their now ‘cool’ Brutalist estate have been offered rehousing in Dagenham, as their landlords chase a ‘more mixed economy’, which really means social cleansing and clearances.

    East End Homes have generally been seen as one of the good social landlords and to now see them now contemplating demolishing a decent council estate to build another towering tribute to power of the market is tragic indeed.

  10. redandblackmanthinks permalink
    April 10, 2015

    Solidarity and best wishes to all at the Holland Estate, and indeed all estates battling “gentrification” a.k.a. social cleansing. Fight on !!

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