Council approves demolition to build 20 new homes at Cressingham Gardens

Computer generated image showing how the new block will appear from Trinity rise with the listed Holy Trinity Church opposite

Lambeth council’s planning sub-committee tonight (23 November) unanimously agreed, for a second time, plans to demolish part of the Cressingham Gardens estate and build new housing there.

It had previously agreed the same plans but, faced with a successful application for a judicial review of this decision, quashed it.

The review would have been based on a failure by the council to take into account the effect of the plans on the “heritage asset” value of the estate.

Tonight’s meeting had before it documents addressing this issue.

Councillors heard impassioned pleas against the plans to demolish and rebuild the Ropers Walk block from residents of the Cressingham Gardens estate which lies between Tulse Hill and Brockwell Park.

The Brixton Society also objected, speaking as well on behalf of the Herne Hill Society and The Friends of Brockwell Park.

But committee chair Joanne Simpson summed up the feeling of the councillors on the committee, saying that the public benefit of the extra affordable homes the plan would produce “outweigh the heritage harm”.

Becca Thackray, the lone Green councillor on the committee, had sent apologies for her absence.

The new block will be built by the council’s wholly owned development company, Homes for Lambeth.

According to the application, they will replace an existing 59 rooms in the Ropers Walk block on the edge of the estate with 70 new ones. Some 49 0f these will be rented at low cost levels and 21 at intermediate levels. Some of the homes will be available for shared ownership schemes.

Computer generated image of the proposed new building which comes right up to and is much higher than existing typical low-rise buildings in Cressingham Gardens – below the area as it is now, with Upgrove Manor Way on the left, Ropers Walk, and a view of Holy Trinity Church

Among the objectors to speak at the meeting was retired nurse Nieves Dotimas, who says the council has forced her out of her home in the existing Ropers Walk.

Another resident, Andrew Plant, pointed out that, despite promising that a “masterplan” for its scheme to demolish and rebuild the entire Cressingham Gardens estate would be ready in 2020, it had still not been published.

He and other objectors highlighted the stress that the plans are imposing on Cressingham Gardens residents.

They also warned of the effect on Brockwell Park and the precedent the nature of the new building might set when the entire Cressingham Gardens estate is rebuilt.