The Willowbrook Estate was constructed by the London County Council in the early 1960’s and handed over to the London Borough of Southwark in 1980.
The Estate was originally 326 properties comprising of 214 flats in 10 low rise blocks and 112 flats in 1 high rise block.
The properties were in a poor state of repair, in addition experiencing vandalism had become a part of everyday life and squatting was on the increase. There were also high levels on asbestos in the blocks.
Tenants continually lobbied the Housing Department over the need for the works to improve the Estate, the design proposals, the allocations and decants proposed in order to keep the community together, and help the TMC progress.
Josie Almond who was the Chairperson of the Willowbrook and Pennack Tenants’ Association at the time and Terry Matthews then the
Vice Chair endorsed the Council’s Estate Action bid to have the final phase of the properties improved.
Public meetings were held and the design process was fundamentally tenant-led.
Willowbrook TMC employs 3 members of staff: An Estate Manager, a Finance & Housing officer and a Repairs & Maintenance Officer, the TMC has benefited from staff continuity over the years.
Since July 1998 the TMC has made many improvements to the Estate such as:
* The removal of rotten wooden stakes surrounding the grassed areas and shrub beds and replacing them with brickwork.
* Replacing grassed areas (previously used as doggy loos) with shrub beds and additional tree, shrub and bulb planting.
* Replacing unused and damaged play area with a grass hillock.
* Repairing garage roofs.
* Renewing communal doors with new wooden doors.
* 5 phases of external decorations were completed in 2005.
* Installing anti-climb spirals to the garages and rear fences.
The extent of the refurbishment works were extensive and included:
* Re-cladding communal staircases and link blocks
* Major removal of asbestos
* Replacement of front and rear walls
* Double glazed aluminium windows
* New kitchen and bathroom fittings
* New central heating
* Electrical re-wiring & External lighting
* New pitched roofs and associated drainage
* New private balconies
* Provision of entry-phone security systems
* Concrete and brickwork repairs
* The formation of new front and rear gardens to ground floor maisonettes · Environmental improvements including landscaping of common areas ·
Tonbridge House and Tilbury Close were demolished leaving way for new housing with private gardens managed by Family Housing Association.
The regeneration of the Estate was done in 5 phases, the first properties on Carisbrooke Gardens being completed in 1988 and the final ones on Shurland Gardens being completed in 1995.
The Development of the TMC was carried out by Hexagon’s Co-ops & Tenant Services Team and ended in 1997. The properties are mainly 2 and 3 bedrooms maisonettes with a small number of 4,5 & 6 bed homes. There are also 25 garages and 51 parking bays.
The TMC were registered as an industrial & Provident Society in February 1997.
The final ballot at the end of the Development period took place in October 1997. 71% of the Estate voted and of those 96% voted yes to take over the management of the Estate.
In January 1998 the TMC had its first Annual General Meeting and elected its first Management Committee and Sub Committees and prepared for the start date.
Willowbrook Tenant Management Co-op took over the management of the Estate on 6th July 1998 and signed the Management Agreement on 10th September 1999 which was updated on 18th January 2011.
The estate suffered a fire in November 2009 Willowbrook TMC lost 20 properties. However these have been refurbished and re-let. The TMC manages 180 homes on the Estate and continues to look at improvements on the estate, encourage residents involvement in the running of the estate and ensuring community engagement.
The TMC is monitored quarterly by TMI Monitoring Officer (Support & Central Coordination), Southwark Council I Environment & Housing, 160 Tooley Street, London SE1 2TZ, tel. 020 7525 7775.