“I did not think even Lambeth council would stoop so low as to – on a day filled with the horror and grief of seeing the Grenfell Tower in Kensington burnt out costing many individuals their lives, and hundreds of families their homes – issue a promotional pamphlet by email to the residents of Central Hill, promoting and encouraging residents to ‘get involved in’ a regeneration scheme which would involve them being forced from their homes and moved into the new tower blocks you propose to build in their place.”
ANGER OVER LAMBETH EMAIL TO CENTRAL HILL RESIDENTS – issued on day of the Grenfell disaster
Hundreds of people living on the Central Hill estate were emailed by Lambeth council about the future of their homes yesterday (Wednesday) – the same day as the Grenfell disaster in North Kensington.
The email has prompted estate campaigner Karen Bennett to send an open email in reply to Lambeth’s chief executive Sean Harriss.
In her email an absolutely livid Karen Bennett says: “This is insensitivity at it’s worst, and I demand an explanation for this missive being sent on a day of such profound tragedy, as well as a new public consultation into the plans you are proposing for Central Hill, which in light of today’s events, would be the most foolhardy that Lambeth council have embarked on to date.
“I live on the Central Hill estate in Crystal Palace; an estate facing full demolition as part of the council’s ‘regeneration plans’.
“We as a community, have made it abundantly clear to the council at meetings, exhibitions, in surveys, at cabinet and at scrutiny committee that we oppose this scheme; that we do not wish to see the Central Hill estate demolished, be forced from our homes and moved into tower blocks.
“Lambeth council nevertheless has bulldozed through our objections in order to see these ill-thought out plans through to fruition.
“But I did not think even Lambeth council would stoop so low, as to, on a day filled with the horror and grief of seeing the Grenfell Tower in Kensington burnt out, costing many individuals their lives, and hundreds of families their homes, issue a promotional pamphlet by email to the residents of Central Hill, promoting and encouraging residents to ‘get involved in’ a regeneration scheme which would involve them being forced from their homes and moved into the new tower blocks you propose to build in their place.
“I anticipate a prompt reply; the explanation I have requested and confirmation that these plans will now be placed on hold pending a full inquiry involving all concerned parties; the residents of the estate, the residents in the wider community, the fire service, police, health and safety commission, department of the environment as well as the council itself, to determine the wisdom of such a scheme.”
Yours sincerely, Karen Bennett, secretary, Central Hill Residents Association. Member of the Resident Engagement Panel.
The email from Mutoka Namakambo, housing project officer – which gives just a few days notice of a “consultation” this Saturday with another being held next Tuesday – reads as follows:
To allow us to carry out the masterplanning for Central Hill we need to appoint what is known as a Development Management Team (DMT). This will be made up of the architects and other experts. As the Key Guarantees give you the right to be involved in shaping the masterplan for your estate you will be able to quiz and score those bidding to be the DMT for Central Hill.
You will be able to do this at an exhibition where all of those who are bidding will show their approach to the rebuilding of Central Hill and how they will involve you in the shaping the masterplan. (sic)
We would like you and as many of your neighbours as possible to attend the exhibitions and the details are below: At the exhibitions, you will be able to score the bidders. This scoring will help to decide who the Development Management Team will be.
Details of the exhibition: Lunham Road Day Centre Saturday the 17th June 10am – 2pm & Tuesday 20th June 6pm – 8pm
The email then adds:
We also want residents to be part of the interview process for the teams bidding to be your DMT. PPCR (your Independent Resident Advisor) are running resident training for the interview process.
This will include looking at questions you might want to put to the bidders. Again, it is important residents are involved in the process of appointing your DMT. Details are below – please come along.
Where: Lunham Road Day Centre Wednesday 21th June 2017 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Kind Regards, Mutoka Namakambo, Housing Project Officer, Housing Regeneration, Strategic Housing, Regeneration and Communities, London borough of Lambeth.
Open gardens at Central Hill this Sunday: This is when we open our estate to the public. Publicity for this has been lost in the run up to the Overground Festival, but it should be remembered that the Open Garden is about CENTRAL HILL AND IT’S RESIDENTS. We will have the opportunity to talk to visitors who will be walking around on two guided tours, looking at our architecture and our green spaces. We will be telling them why we don’t want the estate demolished and there will be a gazebo in the bowl at the back housing the ASH alternative designs. It is very important that residents get involved in this and if you can help, either to help with the tours, open your own garden or to help tidy up the estate so we can show it at its best, please contact me. (Source: Central Hill residents).
FURTHER READING: COUNCIL OFFICERS FACING ACTION OVER FIRE RISK ASSESSMENTS – “Gave misleading information to councillors” April 04, 2017
CENTRAL HILL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT BOMBSHELL: HUGE TOWER BLOCKS AND HALF NEW HOMES WILL BE SOLD OFF ON OPEN MARKET October 04, 2016
For any other stories about the estate – and there are many – please search ‘Central Hill’ on this website. Thanks – Ed.