PRP architects – friend or foe?

In November 2014 Lambeth appointed PRP architects “to develop consultation-led regeneration options” for the Central Hill estate.

PRP were quick to shout about this on their website before most residents were even aware their homes were at risk:

http://www.prparchitects.co.uk/press/news/2014/lb-lambeth-appoints-prp-for-central-hill-estate-regeneration-in-gipsy-hill.html

The website claims that:

“PRP’s approach to Central Hill’s regeneration will harness a sensitive understanding of the local context”

It then came to light after the last drop in session that this was posted by PRP back in December on the first day of consultation on our estate:

Screen shot 2015-03-28 at 21.49.00

“Would you walk done [sic] this alleyway?”

Well, yes most of us do everyday actually! The crime figures for this estate are low; this picture is simply unwarranted denigration of our community. PRP state on their website that they wish to “rebrand” the area – but it seems this rebrand will be based on their idea of what is here, and not an understanding of the reality – a vibrant, diverse community that will be destroyed by forced demolition of the estate. Is it any wonder residents are finding it hard to trust this process or PRP’s capacity to understand or engage our community?

Many residents have met with the architects at the drop in sessions – the response has been mixed. The architects have largely been asking residents what they would like improved on their estate…a little disingenuous perhaps when we’re also being told at the sessions that the cost of repair is too high.

This tweet was not the only representation of the estate that got residents angry – the pictures on the display boards at the drop in seemed to have been picked to show the worst of the estate in order to justify the push for demolition. Broken balcony panes and cracks – which in fact really show Lambeth’s neglect of our estate over a number of years.

A lovely series of pictures by Architects for Social Housing (twitter: @ASH_housing) has sought to redress this balance and shows the wonderful green spaces and community we have in Central Hill.

Central Hill: Pride of Place

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.773391852774151&type=1

 

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