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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A brighter future for South Acton 'Sink' Estate

South Acton Estate is Ealing's largest public housing estate, with some 2,000 households in high-rise and mid-level blocks spread over 40 acres. Often referred to as a 'sink' estate thanks to the run-down state of many of its tenements and historically high levels of crime, alcoholism and drug dealing, it's now in the process of being comprehensively regenerated.

'Acton Gardens' (a partnership between housing association L&Q and developer Countryside Properties), have been selected by Ealing Council and local residents to design and implement the improvements. They declare that 'getting residents views and ideas on the look of the future of South Acton is our priority' and, to prove it, invited everyone living in and around the estate to a public launch of the scheme at the Oaktree Community Centre on Saturday 9th April.

As it was such a glorious, blue-skied day, they moved the event outside to attract more visitors, and then spent a committed 4 hours chatting to locals, getting their views and explaining their 12-year staged plan and 'urban village' design proposals to date.


  1. Very good shots, tells a story, but perhaps think about using the words sink estate, even with the '' s. Gini

  2. Thanks Gini, great to hear your thoughts. I have thought about the term 'sink estate' & even did some research on it online. It seems it's been frequently used since the 70s, by journalists, sociologists and politicians, to describe socially and economically deprived areas, which also tend to feature buildings that are 'sinking' into delapidation. There's some debate about the origins - whether it comes from the idea of a kitchen sink or a waste pit, or simply to describe a downwards decline. As I hope the pictures show, I certainly didn't use it to suggest any disrespect for the people who live there, who will hopefully benefit massively from these plans to renovate, restore and lift the estate up again.

  3. Curious to know whether you will keep a 'watching brief' on the estate and photograph it over the course of its regeneration? Aideen
    PS - What's the purpose of the profile thing for comments?

  4. Hi Aideen, I certainly intend to & am in discussion with some of the key players in this regeneration project about it, who seem enthusiastic about the idea too. It's a 12-year scheme but, unless we move, right in our backyard & an inspiring subject so I'm definitely up for it. And the profile thing is a silly Google/Yahoo/Twitter way of harvesting more accounts & data. But the 'Anonymous' setting with ur name in the msg works just as well. You didn't leave any thoughts about the photos themselves tho - did u like?

  5. Yes, like the photos - especially the B&Ws. The urban planner in me hopes you are able to track progress over the next 12 years. That's a long time though... Aideen