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Housing, Regeneration

Scrutiny Committee endorses decision to redevelop Cressingham Gardens

Lambeth Council will press ahead with proposals to redevelop the Cressingham Gardens estate, providing at least 464 new homes, after senior councillors rejected a call for the decision to be reconsidered.

Lambeth’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee tonight [Monday, 9 May] decided that the Council’s Cabinet should not be asked to review its decision to opt for the redevelopment of the estate.  However, Committee members will write to the Cabinet with a number of recommendations relating to the process leading to the final decision.

In March, members of the Cabinet approved a report – “Investing in better neighbourhoods and building the homes we need to house the people of Lambeth – Cressingham Gardens Estate”. The report proposed the redevelopment of the entire estate and the procurement of a development management team to progress the project.

The redevelopment will involve the replacement all the 306 properties, many of which are in a poor state of repair. It will provide a minimum of 464 new homes – a net gain of 158 extra homes. The scheme, part of the Council’s estate regeneration programme, will contribute towards the commitment to build 1,000 extra homes at council-rent levels.

The decision to authorise the Cressingham Gardens scheme was challenged by Green councillor Scott Ainslie. Cllr Ainslie raised concerns over several issues, including over the financial details provided by the Council, the amount of time given to assessing the “People’s Plan” – an alternative proposal submitted by a number of residents – and the cost of new homes on the redeveloped estate.

Cllr Ainslie explained his concerns to committee members at a meeting in Springfield Community and Health Centre this evening. A number of residents from the estate, and a local councillor, also spoke during the proceedings.

Following a vote at the end of the meeting, the committee decided that the decision should stand. Three members voted not to refer the decision back to the Cabinet for review, while five members voted not to refer it back for reconsideration – but to send Cabinet their observations on issues that were raised during the meeting.

A Lambeth Council spokesman said: “Lambeth is facing a major housing crisis, and the estate regeneration programme is a key part of the Council’s plans to provide more and better homes for the people of the borough.

“Proposals for the redevelopment of three estates have already been approved and, following the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s decision, work on the redevelopment of Cressingham Gardens can now move ahead.”

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Further details of the estate regeneration scheme and the proposals for Cressingham Gardens are available at: http://estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk/

All the papers from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting are available here: http://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=113&MId=9876

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