“DON’T GIVE CENTRAL HILL PEOPLE A BALLOT ON ESTATE DEMOLITION” LAMBETH TELL GLA – “but we accept the principle of applying ballots to future schemes” (well, maybe)

Residents on Central Hill estate in Crystal Palace should NOT be given the chance to vote on whether they want their homes demolished, Lambeth council have told the GLA.

Lambeth’s ‘reasoning’?:

“We commissioned an independent company to carry out a test of opinion in October 2016. “This demonstrated that there was a clear majority of secure tenants, and a majority of all residents who expressed a view, in support of redevelopment.

“Partly on the basis of the test of opinion, Lambeth’s cabinet approved the redevelopment in March 2017.”

Lambeth’s arrogant – arguably ruthless – response continues:

“Residents have been given certainty that redevelopment is taking place. “We are keen to avoid further uncertainty for the tenants and leaseholders and would welcome certainty from the Mayor that this condition will not be applied in this case.”

Lambeth’s figures have been vehemently disputed by people living on Central Hill estate (please see: CENTRAL HILL: Residents say: “Of the 150 households who responded, 94 per cent DO NOT support demolition.” SO THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE LIVING ON CENTRAL HILL WANT DEMOLITION? – OK LAMBETH: PROVE IT. LET’S SEE THE CAMPAIGN COMPANY’S FILLED-IN FORMS – ALL OF THEM…..)

In an undated document Lambeth claim they “accept the principle of applying ballots to future schemes” – but in a SECOND document they merely say they “support the principle of resident ballots in certain circumstances.”

In their response – a full version of which is available elsewhere on this website – Lambeth also say:

“We fully support residents being at the heart of decision‐making. “No one at Lambeth underestimates the stress that rebuilding an estate could potentially cause for current residents.

“Lambeth has been engaging with residents on six estates since 2014, holding extensive consultation and engagement on how to deliver better homes where refurbishment is unaffordable.

“Throughout the process we have sought to engage current residents to both provide them with as much certainty as possible and ensure that they are involved in and influence the decision‐making process.

“While we accept the principle of applying ballots to future schemes, we hope that the final guidance recognises that they are only one part of the extensive engagement work with residents that any estate regeneration project should involve.

“Lambeth welcomes the commitment to place residents at the heart of the decision‐making process on each estate and supports the principle of resident ballots in certain circumstances.

“Any proposal on ballots must balance the needs of the wider community with the wishes of local residents directly affected.

“There would be significant abortive costs to local authorities to develop such an offer (key guarantees) if it was then to be rejected in a ballot.”

In their responses Lambeth also call for

A voice for residents on local housing waiting lists: weighted to those most likely to directly benefit from a programme of additional council housing in their local area. Later Lambeth add: “We do think it is very important to consider the views of those likely to benefit from the new homes and to provide a voice for residents on local housing waiting lists.”

Responding to the question: Do you agree with the proposed scope of resident ballots? Why?/Why not? Lambeth’s response is:
Yes, we agree that residents must be given sufficient information to make an informed decision.

11. Do you agree with the proposed exemption where the demolitions are required to address safety issues? Why?/Why not?

We agree that demolitions required to address safety issues should be excluded. We also believe that where the condition of homes is resulting in higher cases of poor breathing and health impacts because of damp and poor quality housing, that the Mayor should consider exempting those estates from a ballot.

13. Do you have proposals for other potential exemptions to the proposed funding condition?

We would add a further exception for estates where the extent of refurbishment required to ensure homes are brought up to a decent standard is not economically viable and does not represent value for money.

Lambeth also say: “We note that ballots will not be required retrospectively for five of the estates on our regeneration programme (Knight’s Walk, South Lambeth, Westbury, Fenwick and Cressingham Gardens) that are in receipt of GLA funding.”

Lambeth’s response begins on page 56 of 378 pages of responses which include those of 11 other London councils: Barnet, Bexley, Brent, City of London ,Ealing, Hackney, Haringey, Harrow, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Wandsworth, and Westminster City. London Councils also responded.

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