Save our bin sheds! Commercial laundry could operate on estate

'Taking it away from council tenants to a private business – it’s of no benefit to us'

Saturday, 25th June — By Anna Lamche

H-O our bin shed 2

Tenants on the Finsbury Estate

TENANTS are kicking up a stink after discovering “basic facilities” on their estate were set to be leased to a private business.

Residents on the Finsbury Estate are up in arms after discovering the council is converting their bin sheds into a commercial space.

It will be used by a business for storage use with a view to later becoming a laundry. Islington said the business leasing the building would be responsible for obtaining all necessary legal consents to operate from the site.

But Richard Larcombe, chairman of the tenants and residents association (TRA), says the shed has already been fitted with a gas pipe in preparation.

“It’s gone so far already – without consultation and without permission,” Mr Larcombe said. “The gas pipe seems to me to be a very confident gesture in the direction of conversion. It sounds like a done deal.”

He added: “This estate has been long neglected and now the council are treating our basic facilities as financial assets to privatise.”

According to Sarah Nash, another TRA member, the bin sheds had been out of use for several years because they had been “badly designed”.

She said residents had hoped the council would “redesign” the structure rather than transfer it to private use.

“Taking it away from council tenants to a private business – it’s of no benefit to us,” Ms Nash said.

The council disputes this, pledging any rental income raised from a deal will contribute to services for tenants. Refuse storage has been a long-running problem on the estate, according to the TRA. Residents say the caretakers stopped using the bin sheds several years ago, leaving those living on the estate with no option but to pile their rubbish outside.

The TRA says this encourages fly-tipping. Islington’s homes chief, Cllr Una O’Halloran, said: “We are determined to create strong communities where residents feel a sense of pride and belonging.”

She added: “We have been working with the TRA on Finsbury Estate to improve bin storage arrangements, and I’m confident we will be able to find a solution that works for everyone.”

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