Last night residents of Cressingham Gardens urged Lambeth council to halt the demolition of the estate and explore new proposals for refurbishment.
At a cabinet meeting, residents put forward proposals for an extra three options for Cressingham and pointed to the “complete inadequacy” of the council’s consultation process.
Residents say their proposals would be cheaper than current council options for the estate.
They have been awarded £20k by the Government’s Urban Community Energy Fund to put together a business case that could open up millions of pounds in energy efficiency funding for the alternative scheme.
Residents say their proposals can provide more truly affordable homes at council rent levels without the need for demolition of the estate.
Residents at Cressingham Gardens favoured “option one” of the five options that were originally offered to them, which would mean refurbishment of their estate.
However, this option has been formally ruled out by the council.
The demolition news, which came in a letter from Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Matthew Bennett, was met with accusations from residents and supporters that the consultation has been a “sham from the start” and that the council “was never seriously considering refurbishment”.
Lambeth Green Party Cllr Scott Ainslie, who was at last night’s Cabinet meeting said: “What was clear at last night’s Cabinet meeting was that the consultation of residents has been seriously inadequate.
“The Cabinet have endorsed a report based on insufficient information and assessment that overrides what the residents of Cressingham Gardens are asking for. The council must listen to what residents are saying.”
Cllr Bennett, said: “We’re ruling out unaffordable refurbishment options and instead will consult on a significant regeneration of the estate to bring all homes up to Lambeth Housing Standard and provide much needed new homes for council rent to address the housing crisis that too many Lambeth families are falling victim to. After two years of conversation with residents it is time to move forward with viable options.
“We are committed to providing 1,000 new homes for council rent in the borough, to help tackle our enormous waiting list and the rising number of homeless families in temporary accommodation. We need to consider all the land available to us in order to achieve this.
“We will make every effort to limit the disruption Cressingham Gardens residents experience while the regeneration work is going on.”