CENTRAL HILL – FINAL DECISION NOW NEXT FEBRUARY
A FINAL decision on Lambeth council’s hugely controversial plans for the ‘regeneration’ of Central Hill estate has now been pushed back to February 2016 – but people living on the estate are fearing the worst.
A leaflet given to tenants and residents of the Upper Norwood estate at a meeting on Saturday October 17th says: “Lambeth council have said that residents will be shown regeneration ‘options’ in November 2015 and there will then be more consultation with residents – probably workshops.
“It is most likely the outcome will be demolition of the estate. “The extent of this is not yet known.
“Tenants and leaseholders are being offered a new property on the rebuilt estate – however both tenants and leaseholders’ rights will change.
“The estate/land will be transferred to a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ (SPV) – this is a separate council owned company. “Although Lambeth council has stated they will remain the landlord, they can sell part or all of the company in the future to private or housing association landlords.
“Tenants:Because the estate will be owned by the SPV, tenants will lose their secure council tenancy. “These will be replaced with assured lifetime tenancies which are not as protected in law. “You will also lose your Right to Buy.
“The only way for tenants to retain their secure tenancy will be for them to move from the estate – this will mean bidding for a new property elsewhere in Lambeth.
“Tenants can be given £1000 advance payment to help with moving costs etc. “The total home loss payment will be £4900. “This will be given to you once you have moved. “If you have rent arrears they will be deducted.
“Lambeth council have not confirmed what options are available to tenants who want to leave the estate now.”
“Leaseholders/freeholders: Homeowners will be offered either shared equity or shared ownership if they want to stay on the estate and can’t afford to buy a new property outright.
“Shared equity is an option if you can raise 60 per cent of the cost of a new home (through value of current home plus home loss payment and additional mortgage if required). “You would share equity with the council without having to pay rent on the other 40 per cent.
“Less than 60 per cent then you would be offered shared ownership (but not if your share is less than 49 per cent). “This means you would pay rent to the council on the remaining equity. “The minimum you need to opt for shared ownership is 25 per cent. “You will pay 100 per cent service charge no matter what percentage you own.
“If you are not able to afford either shared equity or shared ownership and want to stay on the estate, then you can rent a home on the estate at either intermediate (80 per cent of market rent) or market rent.
“Homeowners who want to leave will not be able to sell their current home back to the council until their ‘phase’ of demolition is due to begin. “The timescales on this are not known.”
The meeting was called by the resident members of the Residents Engagement Panel (REP), the group of residents elected in June to participate in formal consultation meetings with the council in relation to the regeneration of the estate to update the residents on the progress of those discussions.
One resident told News From Crystal Palace: “This was the first meeting the residents members of the REP hold to tell the CH residents the plans and agenda for the regeneration.
“It was important because it was the first time we told them that most probably the estate is going to be demolished to a great extent (if not completely). “There are no definitive plans still for this as we have to go through a series of options appraisals but it seems that will be the end product.
“There are a lot of subjects not clear at all about the regeneration process.”