Residents in the next Aylesbury towers slated for demolition will be pre-allocated new homes, as Southwark’s cabinet agrees the last phase of the huge regeneration project.

This comes as cabinet member for social regeneration, Cllr Leo Pollak, says the controversial scheme is “not a displacement exercise.”

Southwark’s plans with housing association Notting Hill Genesis involves demolishing the estate block by block, to replace it with up to 3,575 new homes by 2032.

Development on the first site has been delayed by about four years because of “issues with vacant possession” a council officer told the cabinet.

This comes after the council’s plan to use a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on residents who had bought their properties was initially blocked by the government, with leaseholders fighting the plan because they were being offered prices considerably less than the market value.

However the CPO was finally approved last November, with the council now starting the CPO process for Northchurch and Foxcote.

Phase four of the project has been split into three parts, with Missenden as well as Lees House, Darvell House, Inville Road,Chadwell House and Soane House next billed for demolition in 2022 as they are in the worst condition.

Council tenants housed in “extremely uncomfortable” conditions in these buildings will be the first to be re-homed from 2021 in the first development site or phase two, the cabinet heard.

Speaking in support of the plans, Cllr Jack Buck said: “We have to recognise current housing stock is in such a bad condition the life of many residents is untenable or extremely  uncomfortable, so giving people option to move into new housing as soon as possible is important for the scheme to work in the way we want it to.

“Residents there will be given the option to leave soon so their quality of life will be increased.

“It gives people on the estate confidence that those homes that are being built are being built for them,” he added.

Leaseholders of these buildings can negotiate selling their homes back to the council, and will also be “targeted” by developer Notting Hill Genesis for their interest in new build homes for sale, according to council documents.

Cllr Leo Pollack, who is also the cabinet member for new council homes and great estates, said there had been a “shift” in council policy since the last election, with the council wanting to “expand and enrich” the estates.

“I want to underscore explicitly when we do estate regeneration it’s not a displacement exercise,” he said.

A lettings policy was expected around September.

The first development site saw Arklow, Bradenham and Chartridge demolished to make way for 842 homes, 348 of which are social rent, scheduled to be let by Notting Hill Genesis at the end of March.