CRESSINGHAM GARDENS SENSATION!: Government gives go-ahead to residents estate takeover ballot – death knell for Homes for Lambeth?

Government minister Kit Malthouse has given the go-ahead to the first move in a process which will see residents on the Cressingham Gardens estate at Tulse Hill – which Lambeth council want to demolish as part of their highly controversial Homes for Lambeth plan – get to vote on them taking over the estate.  

Acting on a consultants report Mr Malthouse says it is “highly unlikely” that the proposed estate transfer would have a significant detrimental effect on Lambeth’s ability to provide housing services to its remaining stock – which could call into question Lambeth council’s entire ‘Homes for Lambeth’ ethos which involves demolishing six council estates across the borough.

The letter also says:

“With the exception of continuous engagement with the estate residents, Lambeth council has made no evidenced concrete progress on its regeneration proposal for the Cressingham Gardens estate. “Based on the level of detail submitted in the evidence, therefore Lambeth’s redevelopment proposal is a long term aspiration.

“Under both regeneration proposals i.e. that of Lambeth council and that of the Cressingham Gardens residents known as The People’s Plan (which Lambeth council famously rejected in just a day – Ed.) there is likely to be a positive impact on the area covered by the estate.”

On 25 April 2016, Cressingham Gardens Estate residents (‘the Estate’) submitted a transfer notice to Lambeth. (‘LB Lambeth’). On 12 September 2016, Lambeth applied to the Secretary of State for a determination to halt the transfer process, under Regulation 13 of the Regulations, on the grounds that the “proposed transfer will have a significant detrimental effect on the provision of housing services in the area of the authority or regeneration of the area”.

Lambeth Labour politicians are likely to go ballistic over the decision – almost certainly blaming Government austerity and political interference and saying it’s their democratic right – but the people of Cressingham Gardens and their supporters are already celebrating:

An opening comment on the Save Cressingham Gardens Facebook page says:

Wow! The first stage of Cressingham’s Right to Transfer application has been approved by the secretary of state!! Next steps involve a ballot to seek resident approval, development of a business plan, and more!

Put simply, UK central government has approved residents’ application to transfer all 306 homes on Cressingham Gardens Estate into a community-owned organisation outside of council control!!

Meanwhile the Save Cressingham Gardens Twitter page has gone into overdrive:

Tom Keene‏ @anthillsocial Jul 11

BIG NEWS. The first stage of Cressingham’s Right to Transfer application has been approved by the secretary of state!! Next steps involve a Ballot to confirm resident approval, development of a business plan, and more! The gov decision is here: …

Put simply, UK central government has approved our application to transfer @SaveCressingham into a community-owned organisation!!! We are all obviously delighted after such a long struggle – well done to all involved:)

.Suzanne Keene‏ @ashtreex Jul 11 Replying to @anthillsocial

My goodness! does that actually mean that Lambeth can’t demolish your home! (and all those other ones)!

.Tom Keene‏ @anthillsocial Jul 11 Replying to @ashtreex

Not totally out of the woods yet… Still hoops to jump through!

Lisa Mckenzie‏ @redrumlisa Jul 11 Replying to @anthillsocial

fantastic, what a fight you have had.

Tom Keene‏ @anthillsocial Jul 11 Replying to @redrumlisa

Not over yet, but we’ve definitely hacked off some limbs 😉

The Log Lady‏ @gamecounsel Jul 11 Replying to @anthillsocial

Oh my! That is brilliant news.

Tom Keene‏ @anthillsocial Jul 12 Replying to @gamecounsel

Its pretty nuts isn’t it? Well done all of us!! 🙂 🙂

The Log Lady‏ @gamecounsel Jul 12

Replying to @anthillsocial

Thank you for all your hard work. ‘Nuts’ doesn’t begin to cover it. And I’m elated. Is there any mechanism through which Lambeth could appeal? Hoping not.

.furtherfield‏ @furtherfield Jul 11

This is such good news Tom — wow !-)

Tom Keene‏ @anthillsocial Jul 11

.Rob Gershon‏ @Simplicitly Jul 11

Well done all, appreciate it is early days but first steps well and truly made.

Andy Plant‏ @andyplant08 Jul 11

I’d like to point up that the residents of Cressingham have been amazingly resilient in the face of the stress of all of this (Right to Manage & Right to Transfer) in the face of LBL’s regen program. My community is worthy of great praise for their hard work & determination.

mariana helpful‏ @H3lpfulbyNature 15h15 hours ago

The residents took control,as LambethLabour ignored us.The Green Party, listened and also fought for us,by demanding for accountability and transparency but LambethLabour refused but have no alternative than demolition,Great News.

Paul Sng‏ @paulsng Jul 11 Retweeted Tom Keene Amazing news from the @SaveCressingham Gardens campaign. Well done to all involved, and wishing you success with this next stage towards saving your homes.

Save Achilles Area‏ @achilles_newx Jul 12

Brilliant news this week from @SaveCressingham inspirational campaign – gives us all a boost

Further reading:

Inside Housing‏ @insidehousing Jul 12

Malthouse approves residents’ bid to take ownership of council estate set for regeneration #ukhousing @KitMalthouse

(Words in bold by News From Crystal Palace – Ed.)

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