Sweetstopia: Gentrification and social cleansing in London.

August 2015

The Sweets Way estate, or better known as 'Sweetstopia', in East Barnet, London was for a time the frontline of a controversial campaign of social cleansing, as less and less affordable housing is available for working class families, and as one by one areas throughout London are gentrified.

At this particular estate, only one family remained after the other 140 or so families were forcibly evicted in February 2015 to make way for a new commercial, private housing complex. Many of the former residents have been rehoused in smaller properties with higher rent, and far away from their familiar lives and communities. 

 

The Ministry of Defence used to own Sweets Way; providing social housing to military families until it was sold off to a private company named Annington Homes in 1996, which began the decline of Sweets Way remaining an affordable social housing estate. 

This brought in resistance from an array of groups and individuals, some who have occupied and refurbished houses, and some who built concrete wall defences to prevent bailiffs evicting the last remaining family until they are offered suitable, affordable and permanent accommodation. 

©2019  Zaid Thanoon.