CALL FOR IMMEDIATE END TO ESTATES DEMOLITION PLANS

Lambeth Green party councillors have called on the council to scrap plans to demolish six estates – including Central Hill – across the borough.

In a letter to the chief executive Andrew Travers and council leader Cllr Jack Hopkins they urge Lambeth council to ‘lift the shadow of demolition’ and ‘give residents some certainty about their futures’.

Their letter comes as Lambeth start to push ahead with plans to compulsorily purchase two of the estates – South Lambeth and Westbury.*

Lambeth launched their estate regeneration scheme in December 2014. [1]

“Since then residents of the six earmarked estates, including Central Hill, Cressingham Gardens and Westbury, have lived with the threat of demolition of their homes” say the Green councilors in a statement. “This is having a detrimental impact on both the physical and mental health of residents on the estates as the prospect of demolition and the uncertainty of plans is leading to high levels of stress, anxiety and depression.

“Our letter also highlights the high environmental cost of estate demolition through the release of embodied carbon and through emissions from construction. An
environmental impact assessment produced by the Architects for Social Housing for the Central Hill Estate found that demolition would release around 7,000 tonnes of CO2e [2], almost the equivalent of the total declared carbon emissions by the whole of Lambeth council’s operations
over a 12-month period. [3]

Cllr Pete Elliott (Gipsy Hill ward in which Central hill estate stands) says: “Through the risky and reckless estate demolition programme the council has uprooted families and destroyed communities with apparently nothing to show for it.

It’s plans do not make sense environmentally, socially or financially. “The council declared a climate emergency in January of this year. Estate demolition directly completely undermines this declaration and the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.

“Since estate regeneration began 172 households have been moved off the estates and into alternative council owned properties. “At the same time, zero new properties have been completed on the six estates.

“All this has cost the council well over £60m already. “Despite claims by Lambeth Labour, this is doing nothing to tackle the housing crisis and is creating a huge amount of stress and anxiety for our residents. “We are yet to receive a response to our letter but we hope the leader of the council will do the sensible thing and put an immediate stop to demolition plans and invest instead in the refurbishment of homes.”

EMPTY HOMES
A Freedom of Information request by Central Hill estate resident Nicola Curtis has revealed there were 25 council homes empty on Central Hill estate as of 5th September 2019.

“The council’s intention is to let properties as soon as they are able however in many cases on the regeneration estates the properties require significant investment when they become empty.  “An assessment then has to be made over the level of that investment which can impact the time it takes to re-let a property.”

[1] http://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s70441/03_Lambeth%20Estate%20Regeneration%20and%20Housing%20Delivery%20-%20December%202014%20v3%20docx.pdf

[2] https://architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk/2018/05/01/central-hill-a-case-study-in-estate-regeneration-ash-presentation-to-the-department-of-architecture-braunschweig-university-of-technology/

[3] https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s107089/Appendix%20A%20LBL%20carbon%20reduction%20plan.pdf

*Two separate items can be found by searching lambeth.gov decisions

Then:Decisions by Individual Cabinet Members, Cabinet and Committees

Then: Decision makers: All executive members

Then: Decision status: Any

At the time of writing this just before publication, there are NO attached reports on either subject – Ed.

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