VISITORS to the Ferrier Estate have been promised a new community for the area - as more current residents were hauled through the courts.

Guests were invited to the launch of a regeneration centre yesterday, a former sports facility, where they could see a model of the new £1bn estate - rebranded as Kidbrooke Village - along with artists’ impressions.

In a speech, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government Sir Bob Kerslake praised the scheme for providing so many new homes in tough economic times.

Leader of Greenwich Council Councillor Chris Roberts said: “This was an estate dropped into the middle of nowhere in the sense that it had no connection to those communities in the surrounding area.”

He told the guests: “In demolishing an estate we wanted to build a community.”

Chairman of developer Berkeley Homes Tony Pidgley said: “If you get the right environment and you get the right community then you’ve succeeded.”

But he warned the scheme also depended on retailers coming to the area.

News Shopper: The scheme has an estimated cost of £1bn Once work is complete over the next 15 to 20 years, the whole site will provide 4,800 homes plus shops and leisure facilities.

Phase one of the project, including 449 homes, is set for completion next summer.

There are around 110 people still left on the estate, with the rest having been relocated across the borough and beyond.

After the launch Cllr Roberts admitted most were unlikely to return, claiming the vast majority wanted to leave, with some saying they felt stigmatised by the Ferrier.

He said: “We’ve never thought people would want to particularly come back because they’ll have settled elsewhere.

“In one sense it makes it easier for us if they did because it reduces demand on the rest of our stock.”

Prices for new apartments at City Point start from £207,000 with penthouses going for upwards of £340,000. Berkeley Homes marketed some of the properties in Hong Kong earlier this year.

News Shopper: The Ferrier

Court action

The day after its big launch, Greenwich Council took two more Ferrier tenants to court in a bid to evict them.

Both tenants claimed they had not been offered acceptable alternative accommodation and had their hearings adjourned until next month.

Nick Russell of the Ferrier Residents Action Group, which claims many former tenants have been priced out of the new development, was also present at Woolwich County Court.

He told News Shopper: “These court appearances are not necessary.

“The council might just as well make people offers they can accept in the first place.”

All remaining tenants were hit with possession orders earlier this year, but many claim they have not been offered suitable homes.

Cllr Roberts said: "We’ll work with the tenants that need to be rehoused as best as we can."