CENTRAL HILL ESTATE DEMOLITION: WE HAVEN’T GOT THE ANSWERS BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T ASKED THE QUESTIONS, SAY LAMBETH

Lambeth council have not asked even the most basic questions about demolishing Central Hill estate, a Freedom of Information answer from the council has revealed.

The revelation comes as all five Green councillors have written to the chief executive and council leader at Lambeth calling for the plans to demolish Central Hill and five other estates across the borough to be scrapped. (Please see separate story).

An FOI  request from  Darren Shirley and headed “Information related to the impact of the redevelopment of Central Hill estate” asked: Following the development of the plans for the demolition and regeneration of the Central Hill estate work will have been undertaken to assess the impact on residents in the surrounding roads and area.

Please could you provide copies of research, analysis, reviews, assessments, plans, strategies, and internal communications relating to, but not limited to, the following issues:
– traffic impact
– road closures and diversions
– parking suspensions
closure, curtailing, rerouting of walkways, pavements, walking/cycling access, and cycle ways
– dust, contaminants, and wider pollution of the local environment
– vibrations, noise pollution and control, subsidence risk or impacts
– loss or degradation of enjoyment of private premises
– impacts on public transport provision
impact of removal of existing piles on stability of surrounding area and subsidence risk
– impact of new piling operations on local area and surrounding residents

For clarity, this includes all internal reports and communications within the Authority and to elected representative and Council Committees including emails, reports and papers and any other form of submission or document; reports, analysis or documents produced on behalf of Lambeth by an agency, contractor or other body; reports, analysis or documents sent or provided to Lambeth; communications with contractors, agencies, public bodies, any body or individual commissioned by or for Lambeth in relation to this.

Documents/correspondence/etc mentioning or relating to the following specific roads should be provided, as should generic assessments: Hawke Road, Roman Rise, Bloomhall Road, Durning Road, Gibbs Avenue, Central Hill, Lunham Road, Victorian Crescent, Alexandra Drive

The very polite reply from Lambeth council’s Freedom of Information team says:

The design proposals for the proposed redevelopment are at a very early stage. The technical studies that you requested will all be undertaken and available prior to the submission of any planning application that will come forward.

Please accept our apologies as the information requested is not available at this current time.

Some of Darren Shirley’s questions may have been prompted by a News From Crystal Palace story:

CENTRAL HILL ESTATE HOMES BUILT ON REINFORCED CONCRETE WHICH REACHES FOUR / FIVE STOREYS BELOW GROUND August 27th 2019 parts of which which stated:

All the buildings on the Central Hill estate, Crystal Palace have been built on deep piles of reinforced concrete reaching four to five storeys in depth BELOW ground, News From Crystal Palace has learned.

Details of the building of the estate come from a talk given by J Hilton Wright, an assistant chief planning officer in Lambeth, at a public meeting back in 1970 while the estate – for 1,230 people at a density of 82.5 persons per acre (or 0.8 person for habitable room) – was still under construction.

He told the meeting the slopes on which Central Hill was difficult to build on because the soil consists of a mixture of different kinds of clays with a wet composition. 

The report of the meeting featured in the Spring 1971 issue of the Norwood Review (number 44), quarterly magazine of the Norwood Society.

(All lines placed in bold type by News From Crystal Palace – Ed.)

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