Private Developers Keep Out
From 1987 the Council tried to interest developers in a "barter deal" on the Walterton and Elgin estates, whereby they received half of the properties to sell on the open market in exchange for doing up the other half for council tenants. They hired consultants to organize the deal. It was costed at £65 million and would have involved forcing everyone to move.
The tenants responded with surprise visits to the offices of the Council and the developers. The Action Group organised coach trips, for which the older people in particular turned out in force. They were joined by short-life residents, local doctors and church leaders. The whole community supported the campaign and it attracted extensive media coverage. People prominent in the housing world also gave WEAG outspoken support.
The Private Developers
Regalian Properties PLC is a development company which spearheaded the 1980s drive towards the privatisation of council estates with its conversion of Wandsworth tower blocks for owner occupation. In 1987 Westminster Council invited Regalian to "express an interest" in a proposed barter deal for the Walterton and Elgin Estates.
Lee Goldstone, who was Managing Director, said:
By the end of 1988 organised opposition from the residents had reduced the number of developers interested in the PMI 'barter' to one.