“HELP STOP CENTRAL HILL ESTATE DEMOLITION” – Call to the Crystal Palace community
Passionate pleas are being made to the Crystal Palace community to help stop the planned demolition of Central Hill estate.
They came at a community-organised meeting in Domali’s restaurant on Westow Street on Tuesday attended by a wide range of people including those living on the estate, residents, traders, and others.
As News From Crystal Palace has previously reported, Lambeth council want to demolish six estates across the borough and then rebuild them under the banner of a new council-controlled company called ‘Homes for Lambeth’ which they could then sell off at any time.
Karen Bennett, who chairs the Central Hill tenants and residents association, told the event: “It’s really, really important we have an opportunity like this to speak to the wider community.
“Lambeth haven’t done that. “The consultation we have had is limited to people on the estate. “They don’t want the wider community to know what’s happening.”
She emphasised the issue was not just about people living on the estate.
“This is about Crystal Palace, an area that’s going to be severely blighted if the plan is allowed to go ahead.
“There’s nothing wrong with Central Hill estate. “The problems we have are superficial. “We have some leaking roofs. “It looks a bit neglected.
“That’s no accident. “It’s a ploy – strategically planned by the council who have allowed it to run down.
“They have stopped carrying out repairs and maintenance, left people in leaking flats “That’s so they can turn it into a sink estate so the only thing they can do is knock it down. “They have been doing this across the borough.”
And she said the six estates Lambeth had picked out for demolition had been chosen for very good reasons:
“They are all in prime locations. “It’s no accident.”
Any new development would be a blight on the wider community, she added. “There would be up to 1.500 homes. “They can make a really big profit.
“People who own properties around Central Hill will be living round a building site, lorries coming up and down all the hours and at weekends, noise pollution, air pollution. “People need to get involved in what is a travesty: the wrecking of a beautiful community.”
Tenants and residents association secretary Nicola Curtis said she decided to join the TRA in 2013 and maybe organise some fetes. “I was thrown into a nightmare.
“The impact this will have on Crystal Palace is huge and that’s without talking about the impact on us. “We’re all facing losing our home. “As a tenant I get a choice: I either give up my secure tenancy as a single mum or move.
“If I want to stay in my community I’ve got to give up all my rights.
“The biggest thing of all is an unsafe tenancy with a private company which Lambeth are setting up. “Homes for Lambeth is the real bane of the matter. “It’s a private company. “We know Lambeth are nearly skint which is why all these cutbacks are going on.”
Lambeth council would still own the land but could sell the buildings at any time they wanted, she told the event, held in support of the Save the Central Hill Community campaign.
The free event at Domali’s enabled members of the wider community to meet their neighbours from the Central Hill estate and find out how Lambeth council’s regeneration plans may impact on the community as well as those who live on the estate.
The event was organised by Roxanne Escobales, who lives on the Croydon side of Central Hill, and Alison McNaught of Domali’s.
Roxanne said: “We live in a unique, diverse community. “What tonight is about is coming to meet some of your neighbours. “It was time to take the campaign to the wider community.
“I haven’t heard one peep from Lambeth about something that is going to happen 50 metres away from my front door.”
Alison said: “We have a Lambeth council who are basically Tories. “Crystal Palace residents should stand behind the community.”
TO CONTACT THE CAMPAIGN: All enquiries should be sent to the Save Central Hill Community campaign via the contact form on the website: http://www.savecentralhill.org.uk/.
or via the campaign’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/554220628024609/
Further reading: CENTRAL HILL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT BOMBSHELL: HUGE TOWER BLOCKS AND HALF NEW HOMES WILL BE SOLD OFF ON OPEN MARKET – News From Crystal Palace October 4th.