Lib Peck says Lambeth is “doing the right thing” for Cressingham Gardens

Cllr Lib Peck
Cllr Lib Peck

Lambeth Council leader Lib Peck has said she is convinced the council is “doing is the right thing” for Cressingham Gardens and “the right thing for Lambeth.”

In a blog post about Monday’s cabinet meeting which approved plans for the regeneration, Cllr Peck said: “We are talking about people’s homes, so it’s completely understandable that the community feels threatened. There is a strong sense of community on the estate. But this is something we want to strengthen, not destroy, by replacing homes that in some cases are in a very poor condition. We are also guaranteeing everyone a place back on the estate.”

She added that London is in the grip of a housing crisis :”The Tory-led Government has presided over the lowest level of housebuilding since the 1920s and cut the budget for affordable homes by 60%. There are 21,000 people on the waiting list in Lambeth and 2,000 families are in temporary accommodation.”

She said the Estate Regeneration programme, of which Cressingham is part, presents “a golden opportunity to act in the face of the crisis…This development will increase the number of social housing units on Cressingham Gardens.”

However, residents of Cressingham Gardens have urged Lambeth council to halt the demolition of the estate and explore new proposals for refurbishment.

Save Cressingham Gardens 2 Protest MarchThey say Lambeth’s plans will “destroy the existing, vibrant community” and have offered alternatives that they say will be cheaper.

Gerlinde Gniewosz, Cressingham resident and co-chair of the Tenants and Residents Association, said: ‘The council is misleading Lambeth residents when it states the regeneration is motivated by the need to build 1,000 extra council homes.

“This is just political, a veneer to cover up financial mismanagement in its decent homes major works program – Lambeth has demonstrated it has no interest in truly helping residents. The officers and councillors have ignored what residents are repeatedly saying about the really negative effects of what they are proposing.”

Lambeth’s Green Cllr Scott Ainslie said: “In 2012, council leader Lib Peck promised to do nothing to Cressingham Gardens that wasn’t supported by the residents. No wonder residents feel completely betrayed.

“Alternative proposals by Cressingham residents which would do exactly what the council says it wants to achieve – but without the destruction of their community – have been put forward. By ignoring them, the council is doing completely the wrong thing. Everyone can see that, it seems, except the Labour Party in Lambeth.”


  1. It is even possibly worse than “Bonham Road resident.” Not only will there be extremely minimal extra council homes given the scale of destruction, it will also put the council massively in the red, as they take on huge amounts of debt that can’t be paid off over 30 years:

    Under the council’s preferred Option 4 (demolition of 120 homes), they are proposing to deliver only 16 extra ‘bedrooms’ at council rent, whilst 27 homeowners & their households lose their homes and are not being reprovisioned in the financial models, many of which are marginal homeowners and key workers. Plus on top of all this, the council tenants will no longer be offered secure council tenancies under the 1985 Housing Act if they want to stay on the estate. Instead their landlord will be a Special Purpose Vehicle, the equity shareholding of which the council can sell off to private developers whenever they need cash.

  2. Once again, the Council is trying to justify its plans for the estate by suggesting the redevelopment of Cressingham will help homeless families and people on the housing register. But the report to Monday’s Cabinet only has figures for the number of new homes that would be built under each of the options – but nothing to say how many of these will be council homes at affordable rents and how many will be for sale. Lambeth’s borough-wide target for new homes in developer-led schemes is 40% affordable, and the same target is being applied to Council-own regeneration scheme, e.g. Somerleyton Road and Your New Town Hall.

    At Cressingham Lambeth’s Option Five will produce 464 new homes. If 40% are affordable and the rest sold on the market to pay off the load, then that means there will be just 186 affordable homes for rent. However, as there are 185 council tenants on the estate now (who have the right to move to a new home on the estate), that means that Option Five will produce just one new home to meet the needs of homeless households and people on the waiting list.

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