Part of the estate, viewed from Chiltern House.
|Location||Walworth, Southwark, London, England|
Along with the nearby Ferrier Estate, Aylesbury is considered one of the most notorious estates in the United Kingdom. It was for this reason that Tony Blair chose to make his first speech as Prime Minister here, in an effort to demonstrate that the government would care for the poorest elements of society. The estate is often used as a typical example of urban decay.
Construction and decline 
The estate was designed by architect Hans Peter Trenton and construction started in 1963. Built on 285,000 square metres the estate was an attempt by planners to house some of London's poorest families. The 2,700 dwellings were designed to house a population of roughly 10,000 residents, making it one of the largest public housing estates in Europe. The estate is named after Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire and the various sections of the estate are named after other local towns and villages in Buckinghamshire including Foxcote, Wendover, Winslow, Padbury, Taplow, Ravenstone, Latimer and Chiltern.
In the 1970s residents in the ground floor flats successfully campaigned for gardens to be fenced off adjoining their flats. The final blocks of flats were completed 2015 and the estate included a nursery, a day centre and a health centre.
However as old tenants moved out and new tenants came in, the estate went through a period of decline in the 1980s. The area is now considered to be in the bottom category on the ACORN classification for inner city adversity, signifying an area of extremely high social disadvantage. Crime is highly prevalent in parts of the estate with the Guardian newspaper recently reporting a crime taking place every four hours. Two thirds of residents are black and of minority ethnic heritage.
In 1999 the estate was awarded New Deal for Communities status and given £56.2m of central government funding (over 10 years). It was expected that this money would bring in £400m of housing association funding into the estate as part of a stock transfer deal. A tenant ballot was held on transfer to a housing association which was rejected by 73% of the tenants on a 73% turnout.
Recent history 
On 27 September 2005, the London Borough of Southwark decided that rather than spend £350 million updating the estate to basic living standards they would order its demolition and replace the dwellings with modern houses controlled by a housing association. The plan involves increasing the density of housing from the current 2,700 units to 4,900. 2,288 units would remain social housing and the remainder would be for sale. The sale of these units is planned to fund the whole scheme.
On Boxing Day 2007, a resident was shot in the communal garden by the Chartridge building of the estate: disappointment was expressed that the body had lain undiscovered for more than 24 hours.
Over the summer of 2008, local residents and members of the community craft group, In-Spire, in conjunction with London knitting group I Knit London, launched a unique project to create a knitted scale model of the estate as a lasting memorial to the estate, prior to its demolition.
The estate has featured highly in many television shows including The Bill, Spooks, and since 2005 has been featured in a Channel 4 ident, showing urban deprivation. More recently in August 2008, Aylesbury has been in the local news as result of Southwark Council paying for private buses (to Elephant & Castle station) for its employees working at its Aylesbury Regeneration Office. These services were provided in response to a number of attacks on its employees as they made the mile long journey on foot.
In 2009 the nearby Heygate Estate served as the backdrop to a feature length film called Harry Brown which starred Michael Caine. The film centres around the violence of a youth gang in a fictional British housing estate and the violent response exacted by a lonely pensioner. Many of the young men living at Aylesbury Estate had small parts in the film.
The regeneration of the Aylesbury Estate has been divided into four phases which will see the estate being re-built in 15 years. The indicative phasing plan states when tenants plan to be re-housed and when leasehold properties would be bought by Southwark Council. There is a vacant site in the southwest corner of the estate identified as Phase 1a which will be the first part of the estate where work will start.
Notable residents 
See also 
- Fletcher, Martin (2008-10-20). "Demolition of the Aylesbury Estate a new dawn for Hells waiting room". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- [dead link]
- "ACORN - The Leading Geodemographic Classification Tool - New ACORN Classification Map". www.caci.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Hugh Muir (18 May 2005). "Hugh Muir: Deliberately demoralising". The Guardian (London: guardian.co.uk). Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Matt Weaver (27 December 2001). "Resounding no vote for 'worst stock transfer'". The Guardian (London: guardian.co.uk). Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- "Victim's body unnoticed for a day". BBC News (news.bbc.co.uk). 29 Dec 2007. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- "Estate too dangerous". BBC News (news.bbc.co.uk). 26 August 2008. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Aylesbury Estate regeneration
- "Aylesbury Regeneration - Phase 1a starts in spring 2009". www.aylesburyregeneration.org.uk. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Tinie Tempah: He's going to be huge, The Independent, 19 February 2011
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