CENTRAL HILL ‘CONSULTATION’ ON TOTAL DEMOLITION PLANS
People living on the Central Hill estate are to be ‘consulted’ on plans by Lambeth council to totally demolish it.
News From Crystal Palace understands the rebuilt estate will includes homes for sale with prices ranging from around £300,000 for a one-bedroom flat up to £800,000 for a five bedroomed house. Half the homes on the new estate will be sold off on the open market.
Following the so-called ‘consultation’ the decision to totally demolish is set to be rubber-stamped at a full meeting of Lambeth council’s cabinet in December – the same month in which the High Court is expected to decide on a judicial review involving Cressingham Gardens at Tulse Hill – another estate facing total demolition.
Some people living on the estate first learned of the demolition plans after a post by one of their own Gipsy Hill ward councilors and Lambeth’s cabinet member for housing – Cllr Matthew Bennett – on Lambeth Labour Twitter.
A Lambeth council press release on the subject includes the usual claims, half-truths, platitudes and – for the first time – downright scaremongering.
LAMBETH CLAIM: “Full rebuilding would guarantee existing secure tenants a brand new home, with a life-time tenancy, while homeowners would also be able to have a brand new home without the threat of substantial bills from refurbishing the current estate.”
THE REALITY: Existing secure tenants would no longer be secure. And they will face higher service charges, higher rents and higher council tax.
As far as News From Crystal Palace is aware, this is the first time there have been threats that homeowners on an estate Lambeth council want to demolish face would face substantial bills for refurbishing. Lambeth council claim they do not have the money for repairs – but are fully renovating every home which becomes vacant. This includes the removal of asbestos.
At the annual tenants and residents association meeting held on the estate last month secretary Nicola Curtis said: “Your homes are below standard and they have by law to be brought up to standard.
“They said ‘We can’t get enough houses on spaces to make enough money to refurbish our homes’. “It will cost £18.5 million and they cannot afford it.
“We’ve all had enough. “Because we’re in the regeneration we’re not getting refurbished, we’re not getting new kitchens or bathrooms but the council still have day to day repairs. “They should still be doing them. “The major stuff isn’t going to get done.”
Yesterday (Thursday) Nicola Curtis told News From Crystal Palace: “Without consulting the resident engagement panel or the independent resident advisors Lambeth have announced our consultation will start on Saturday 15th October.
“Matthew Bennett also announced our demolition on the Lambeth Labour Twitter site before we had notification.
“Lots of inaccuracies in his statement including the statement that we would not be handed over to a separate housing association/company. “Even though Homes for Lambeth is a separate entity.
“As usual Lambeth blend lies on more lies. “Really ****** off at moment.”
‘Homes for Lambeth’ will be a 100% council-owned company to enable the council to access private finance and build homes in the borough.
The council can, if it wishes, sell off Homes for Lambeth at a future date.
The council will require that any proposed sale of part or all of Homes for Lambeth (and any of its companies) be subject to a unanimous vote of full cabinet; a two-thirds vote of full council approval; and a unanimous agreement of the Homes for Lambeth board whose chairman will be Cllr Matthew Bennett. Current state of Lambeth council: 59 Labour 3 Conservative 1 Green.
(Please see separate story: “OVER A QUARTER OF CENTRAL HILL TENANTS ARE ON THE COUNCIL’S TRANSFER LIST, TRYING TO MOVE AWAY” – Cllr Matthew Bennett)