Court backs council plans to fell Cressingham Gardens trees

apartment block
Ropers Walk

The High Court has rejected a bid by local residents to halt the felling of four trees on the Cressingham Gardens estate by Lambeth council’s wholly owned developer, Homes for Lambeth (HfL).

The council has said it will wind up HfL and take its work in-house over a period of years following an indictment of it as “very poor” in a report by housing expert Lord Kerslake that was commissioned by the council.

Plans to demolish and rebuild a single block of the estate – Ropers Walk – were opposed through a judicial review brought by residents of Cressingham Gardens.

But the High Court found nothing wrong with the council’s plans, noting that HfL had said it would spend more than £180,000 on new trees in the area.

Lambeth council’s cabinet has approved the Kerslake report which also calls for a “reset” of consultation and engagement with people living on estates that the council has earmarked for demolition.

However, “Save Cressingham Gardens” campaigners said that it was clear from the cabinet meeting that “councillors and officers don’t really mean a genuine reset of engagement with the community of Cressingham Gardens”.

The campaigners said the council did not seem to understand that they would protect all community members, including an 84-year-old resident of Ropers Walk.

“If they had included Ropers Walk in the reset, then maybe [the cabinet meeting] could have been the first step in rebuilding trust.

“On a positive note, the path going forward is very clear – we continue to fight hard …”