Student's Guide to Carpenters

Find resources below to answer questions you may have about the Carpenters Regeneration and how this relates to Urban Change in the UK

One of London's Largest Estate Restoration and Regeneration Projects

Stratford and the Olympic Park are popular destinations for GCSE and A-Level Geography students. We’re proud of the Carpenters Estate, our co-designed Masterplan and strong local community. If you visit in person, it's important to be respectful to the people who live there because it's their home.

We've put together a bunch of useful resources and information that can help you and your teachers learn more about urban change on the Carpenters Estate. 

Where is the Carpenters Estate?

What is the History of the Estate?

In 1767 The Carpenters Company, a City of London livery company, purchased a 63-acre farm estate in the parish of West Ham near Stratford, as a revenue investment. Many of London’s factories, including The Yardley Box Factory, were built on the canals of the River Lea, The Great Eastern Railway and Carpenters Road in the following decades. The area became a typical inner-city industrial area.

To house the workers for these factories, The Company of Carpenters built rows of Victorian terraced houses between Carpenters Road and the neighbouring town centre of Stratford. The Company of Carpenters made efforts to improve the lives of the area’s employees and residents, including building a school and social club for the area.

Carpenters Estate from Stratford Railways, 1970 
Stratford Railway lands, 1970. Former railway works in foreground closed in 1963.
Image courtesy of Newham Archives and Local Studies.

Dennison Point construction in 1967
Dennison Point construction in 1967, Image courtesy of Newham Archives and Local Studies.

The Rebuilding of The Carpenters Estate

During the Second World War Stratford was a frequent target for air raids, and by the end of the war much of the original Carpenters Estate housing had been destroyed or was badly damaged.

The present estate was built in 1967, combining low rise housing, maisonettes and three tower blocks: Lund Point (1967), Dennison Point (1967) and James Riley Point (in 1969).

Carpenters Estate, Orbit Tower and the Olympic Stadium. Source: Amanda Vincent-Rous

Stratford has undergone massive changes and regeneration following the 2012 London Olympics. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Stratford City E20 development were early regeneration projects. There are now similar plans to regenerate The Carpenters Estate. Populo Living (Newham Council’s housing company) is leading a project to provide many more high-quality and affordable homes the area needs alongside modern community facilities and green spaces.

Did you engage with local residents throughout the Regeneration process?

In February 2020, Newham Council approved Populo Living to manage the development of the Carpenters Estate. Populo is a company that builds both private and affordable homes, and it is fully owned by the Council.

Populo and the Council are working closely with the residents to come up with a detailed plan for the new Carpenters Estate. They want to make sure it becomes a thriving neighbourhood and is well-connected to the larger Stratford area and regeneration. Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and the Council have set a goal to provide at least 50% of affordable homes on the council-owned development sites.

Resident consultations taking place on the estate, 2021. Source: Populo Living

Populo started talking to the local residents to rebuild trust and connection within the community. They wanted to understand the residents' concerns and wishes. They discussed different options with the residents, including fixing up the current homes or completely rebuilding the area.

Drop-in session held at The Dovetail, 2023. Source: Populo Living

They organised workshops to figure out the pros and cons of each option and to get feedback from the community. The information gathered from these discussions helped shape the development plans and the masterplan led by the residents. The masterplan brings together new and existing streets, buildings, and public spaces to create a friendly and lively neighbourhood. It's a place that features a mix of different land uses, people, and buildings, with a strong connection between public areas and private homes. 

VIDEO: Hear directly from Carpenters Residents

Benefits of the Carpenters Regeneration

Over 2,000 new and modern homes, with 50% at affordable levels
The Carpenters Estate is going through some big changes. Currently there are 711 homes, but Populo are planning to create up to 2,152 new, renovated, and replacement homes. The goal is to have at least 50% of these new homes at affordable prices. They're restoring old homes to make them modern and energy-efficient, which is good for the environment.

In the new Carpenters, there will be different types of housing, like homes for rent, socially rented homes, and affordable housing. They're also making homes for older people.

Neighbourhood Green: A blend of family homes and residences for older residents.

Retaining and refurbishing the two towers - James Riley Point and Lund Point

Populo are going to keep and restore two iconic towers, James Riley Point and Lund Point, which are a part of the estate's history. They'll also build new houses of different sizes to meet the needs of the local community.

CGI of the new James Riley Point following refurbishment

CGI of balcony spaces at the new James Riley Point following refurbishment

Brand new leisure and sporting facilities for the community

The new Carpenters will have brand new places for people to do sports and have fun. They're going to revamp the community and educational facilities like the Building Crafts College and Docklands Community Centre. There will be a leisure centre with a sports hall, an outdoor sports pitch, studios, a courtyard, and a café.

CGI of Courtyard to the new Leisure space, at the base of James Riley Point

Better connected streets to Stratford and the Olympic Park
Populo are making it easier to get around the wider neighbourhood, especially to Stratford Station and the Olympic Park. They're adding a new entrance to the station, which will help people get to the Jubilee Line and other parts of Stratford more conveniently. The streets will be designed for walking and improving access to the Olympic Park and the area around it.

New southwestern entrance (c) Planning documents – Hawkins\Brown Architects

More green spaces and improving biodiversity
There is a large focus on green spaces and nature. Populo plan to plant 600 new trees and keep 95 existing ones. There will be different open spaces for people to enjoy, like play areas, public squares, and communal spaces. All of this is to make the Carpenters Estate a better place to live, work and have fun!

CGI of Neighbourhood Green

Challenges of Carpenters Regeneration

The Carpenters Estate has been the subject of numerous failed regeneration attempts over two decades. It had not benefited from the Olympic redevelopment process and has deteriorated following various failed joint venture attempts to redevelop the estate, included proposals for a new University Campus. During this time, and in the build up to the Olympics, over half of the the Carpenters Estate had been decanted. 

Residents have been waiting too long to see investment and improvements in their homes and across the estate. Due to this, relations broke down and led to a mistrust between residents and the Council. 

However, in 2018, Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz made a groundbreaking announcement, declaring an end to the Council's pursuit of joint venture plans for the Carpenters Estate. Instead, a fresh start was promised, with residents at the forefront of new plans and decision-making processes. This marked a turning point, and in 2021, residents voted in favour of redevelopment through a community ballot. This momentous occasion signalled the realisation of the Carpenters Masterplan and symbolized a renewed agreement between residents and Newham, ensuring a cooperative and mutually beneficial investment in the future of the community.

Currently, Populo are navigating through various challenges as they strive to deliver a financially feasible masterplan that includes 50% affordable housing. These challenges are further complicated by rising inflation, a cost of living crisis, and new regulations imposed by the government. We fully understand the frustrations experienced by residents and are committed to maintaining transparency throughout the process. To address concerns and keep residents informed about progress, we are actively organising regular drop-in sessions for updates and discussions.

How many additional homes will the Regeneration add?

The Carpenters Estate currently contains 711 existing homes. The Masterplan will deliver up to 2,152 new, refurbished and replacement residences, and will deliver a minimum of 50% of these as affordable homes (measured by habitable room). Refurbished homes will be brought up to modern standards, delivering high quality, energy-efficient housing in parallel with significant environmental benefits by reusing existing structures.

All dwellings within the Carpenters will be designed to maximise opportunities for community interaction and neighbourliness through the inclusion of courtyards, shared gardens and communal decks and terraces. Following extensive consultation with existing residents, all homes within the masterplan, should seek to incorporate high levels of natural lighting, spacious and flexible internal arrangements, adequate storage and outdoor space.

What opportunities will Regeneration bring to the local community?

Our 'Community Wealth Building' approach in Newham focuses on restructuring the economy to ensure widespread and democratic wealth distribution, benefiting local people, communities, businesses, and organisations. With Newham projected to experience significant growth by 2030, including new homes, jobs, and residents, our approach aligns with this unparalleled opportunity for development. The Carpenters Estate is a regeneration with Community Wealth Building at it’s core - delivering genuine benefits to the local area, Stratford and Newham as a whole:

  • 28,000 sqm of commercial space including a new building crafts college, cafes, restaurants, shops, and a hotel.
  • Thousands of new and affordable homes.
  • Pushing for high skilled and good quality jobs.
  • New workspaces for SMEs and growing businesses.
  • A new Carpenters school.
  • More Green Spaces.
  • A new home for the Building Crafts College.
  • A new home for the Carpenters and Docklands Centre with a leisure facility at the base of James Riley Point.

CGI of Station Quarter

In the meantime, the residents have seized the chance to make the most of paid opportunities by leading workshops that pay above the London Living Wage. Additionally, they have facilitated the free use of the Dovetail venue for local businesses and enterprises in exchange for community benefits. Our collaborative efforts with local partners aim to expand economic opportunities and revitalize the estate's commercial community. As part of this endeavour, we are currently refurbishing the former TMO building, transforming it into a vibrant hub. This hub will feature a delightful courtyard for hosting various events, versatile community spaces, makerstudio workspaces, and a dedicated food bank operated by the Carpenters Café.

How are you prioritising sustainability with the Regeneration?

The Carpenters Regeneration will stand the test of time by being sustainable and adaptable, serving the needs of both present and future communities. Our approach is underpinned by the following:

Social Sustainability
Social sustainability aims to preserve and enhance Carpenters' rich social capital and promote community cohesion, well-being and diversity. This includes permanent community hubs, such as the new Community Centre at the base of James Riley Point, providing classes, activities, and being a hub for sports. The masterplan also features 7 ample public open spaces, including a large neighbourhood green and squares, encouraging social interaction and offering places for relaxation, play, exercise, and community gardens.

Economic Sustainability
Economic sustainability aims to reinvest in the community, improve employment opportunities, and enhance access to essential amenities while reducing fuel poverty. The Regeneration includes a range of commercial spaces to cater to new and existing businesses, offering employment opportunities and neighbourhood necessities like food shops and health facilities. The affordable rental rates prioritise local makers and sellers.

The plan also incorporates the Building Crafts College, showcasing the skills of Carpenters and providing skills and qualifications. Community Wealth Building is central to the masterplan, with commitments to workshops, work placements, funding opportunities, and sustainable procurement practices that support the local workforce and suppliers.

Environmental Sustainability
The Regeneration aims to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions, and waste while enhancing biodiversity, promoting active transport, and creating a healthy local environment. To support local biodiversity, habitat creation initiatives like native planting, beehives, and nesting boxes are implemented. The development incorporates green roofs, trees, hedges, and planting to minimise pollution. This goes hand in hand with the Council's vision to make Stratford the borough's first green zone. 

How long will the Regeneration take?

In total over £1billion will be invested in restoring the estate and creating new homes through phased plans that will be delivered over the next 15-20 years.

What is The Dovetail and it's purpose?

The Dovetail is a place for the residents and neighbours of Carpenters Estate to build connections, share skills, try out new activities and get involved with their local community.

The Dovetail, our Resident Community Space on the Carpenters

Since it’s opening in 2021, The Dovetail has delivered over 500 hours of community activity. Residents can also take advantage of paid opportunities to plan and run their own sessions as well as lots of activities that they can take part in for free. It is also a hub of information for residents to keep updated about the Masterplan and have any questions they have answered by our Community Liaison Officers as well as see the latest plans.

Yoga sessions at The Dovetail

Gardening sessions in collaboration with Social Farms and Gardens

Afro-Caribbean hair care workshop in collaboration with Nuture Academy

The annual Young Designers Programme, a paid course for young residents

How are you keeping Residents informed?

All households are on the Carpenters are kept up to date with the latest news and updates by a number of communications:

  • Weekly E-mail newsletters
  • Bi-monthly print editions of the Carpenters Newspaper (you can view the back issues here)
  • Drop-in sessions held at The Dovetail 
  • 1-on-1 consultations with our Resident Liaison Officers at The Dovetail.

Is the Carpenters Regeneration another form of Gentrification?

The Carpenters Regeneration was co-designed for Residents by Residents: The Masterplan was achieved through a co-design programme of workshops dating back to 2020, discussions and master classes with architects and designers. Following an extensive process of option testing, most residents favoured a full restoration and regeneration programme across the estate, to help pay for more high-quality affordable homes for local people and better community benefits.

Improved living conditions: The Carpenters Estate regeneration brings significant improvements to existing housing and amenities. It offers a diverse range of housing options including private rented, socially rented, and affordable housing, along with homes designed for later living. With flexible layouts, it caters to the needs of individuals, couples, and families of various sizes. As part of the Council’s climate emergency response, 314 existing homes on the estate will be restored to the highest green economy standards.

Economic opportunities: The Carpenters Estate is a regeneration with Community Wealth Building at its core -delivering genuine benefits to the local area, Stratford, and Newham as a whole. Along with thousands of new and affordable homes, pushing for high skilled and good quality jobs, new workspaces for SMEs and growing businesses, a new Carpenters school, surgeries, green spaces, a leisure and sporting facility, and community initiatives. This is the source of wealth and talent that will drive a fairer and more prosperous Newham.

The commercial elements of the masterplan aim to nurture and grow a collaborative, cultural and community focused collective of businesses. With 28,000 sqm of commercial space including a new building crafts college, cafes, restaurants, shops, workspace, and a hotel.

Community involvement and consultation: The Carpenters Regeneration places residents at the heart of its masterplan and we want it to be a beacon for Estate Regeneration. We've taken the time through a series of workshops and consultations, to put together proposals that have what residents wants to see - a thriving and connected community and a place that is safe and pleasant with homes that are genuinely affordable.

Additional resources

You can find out more about the Carpenters Estate Regeneration, by visiting The Dovetail - our resident community space in the heart of the estate.

If you are organising a fieldtrip to the Carpenters Estate and would like to have a presentation about the Carpenters Estate regeneration, contact for more information.

Address: The Dovetail, 22 Doran Walk, Stratford E15 2JL