In a move reminiscent of the ‘poor doors’ scandal, a London developer has segregated play areas for richer and poorer residents
'At least one multimillion-pound housing development in London is segregating the children of less well-off tenants from those of wealthier homebuyers by blocking them from some communal play areas.
Guardian Cities has discovered that developer Henley Homes has blocked social housing residents from using shared play spaces at its Baylis Old School complex on Lollard Street, south London. The development was required to include a mix of “affordable” and social rental units in order to gain planning permission.
Henley marketed the award-winning 149-home development, which was built in 2016 on the site of a former secondary school, as inclusive and family-friendly. It said the “common areas are there for the use of all the residents”.
But the designs were altered after planning permission was granted to block the social housing tenants from accessing the communal play areas.
Salvatore Rea, who lives in a rented affordable flat with his wife, Daniella, and their three children, says the residents of the complex are very aware of the disparity. “My children are friends with all the other children on this development – but when it is summer they can’t join them.
“Children shouldn’t know who owns and who is renting.”
The situation is reminiscent of the ongoing “poor doors” controversy, where social housing residents are forced to use side doors to apartment blocks that also contain private flats.'
Read more: Too poor to play: children in social housing blocked from communal playground