Save Central Hill Community is a group of residents (both tenants and leaseholders) who are working together to challenge Lambeth Council’s proposed plans for our estate. This website is a collaborative effort and does not represent the voice of just one resident. The aim is to be a useful resource for residents and local organisations as well as a forum for campaigning and raising the profile of what is happening on our estate.
Central Hill is one of six estates identified by Lambeth for ‘regeneration’; this is a real threat to our community, as evidence so far indicates that Lambeth are likely to push for demolition rather than repairing or refurbishing existing homes. We are very aware of the housing shortage in London and the many families waiting for accommodation in Lambeth; we believe, however, there are opportunities for increasing housing on and around the estate and that Lambeth’s approach is unnecessarily destructive of our community. The full implications of the ‘regeneration’ are outlined elsewhere on this website and we will update you as we find out more.
The Save Central Hill Community campaign group formed in February 2015 and began by meeting in local pubs to talk about what all this might mean. At that stage, Lambeth had shared very little information and it quickly became clear that the majority of residents on the estate had no idea their homes were at risk, and no idea of the potential impact of ‘regeneration’ on their lives. Lambeth had held initial workshops in December 2014, at which residents were first made aware that there were plans for redevelopment. However, no specific information was provided at these meetings about what this could mean, and instead residents were given surveys asking them what they like and dislike about the estate. Many who attended felt deceived when they later found out that, in fact, their homes are under threat and their responses are being used to inform decisions they had not been fully informed about.
The Save Central Hill Community group realised we needed to act quickly – a final decision had been timetabled by Lambeth for June 2015. The first step was to increase resident awareness and so an estate-wide meeting was organised by the group for 21st March 2015. This was attended by about 120 people (See SCHC press release 25 03 15) and was the beginning of a growing grassroots campaign – led by residents and supported by our neighbours and local groups.
Broadly, our objectives are to:
- raise awareness and understanding among the community
- widen resident participation in the decisions that affect them and support vulnerable residents
- demand greater transparency and answers from Lambeth Council
- fight for meaningful resident participation
- show Lambeth that there are alternatives to their ‘knock it down and start again’ approach
- protect and celebrate our community
For press enquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a tweet @savecentralhill and one of us will get back to you asap.
Lambeth Labour has won the May 5th Gipsy hill by-election, beating the Green Party by a mere 36 votes.
The result showed a reduction of the Labour vote by 27% and a rise of 32% in the Green vote.
The final result is as follows:
Lib Dems 84
Trade Unionist & Socialist 19
turnout was a risible 27%.
Discontent over the handling of the Gipsy Hill estate has been cited as a reason for the shrinkage of the Labour vote.
twitter account of Luke Murphy
Lambeth Green Party
Niranjan Francis, councillorfor Gipsy Hill ward , has sadly passed away after a battle with cancer. Many tributes have been paid to this well liked member of the local community.
Tributes paid to warm and generous local concillor
Gipsy Hill Labour on Cllr Francis
Open Garden Estates is a project run by Architects for Social Housing to save London council estates under threat of redevelopment.
Open Garden Estates
there is a meeting this Thursday to discuss the project. Attendance is recommended.
6.30-9.30 in Cotton Gardens residents hall. Kennington lane
calling for the resignation of Lib Peck, Matthew Bennett and Jack Hopkins on the grounds of broken promises and failing to take into account the views of the community
lambeth concillors resign
PPCR Associates have been appointed as Central Hill Estate’s Independent Resident Advisors. They held their first drop in sessions with residents during the week of 8th -13th February 2016.
PPCR provided the following information to explain their role:
At the drop in sessions PPCR asked residents to look at Lambeth’s ‘key guarantees’ and the design principles developed by the Resident Engagement Panel. They asked residents to put red, yellow or green stickers against the statements on each of these posters rating them from most to least important to us. We were also asked to write comments on post it notes.
So no new information, more post it notes and stickers and the PPCR representatives, while very pleasant, weren’t able to answer more in depth questions about the regeneration programme. Deja vu anyone?!
The message seemed to be that residents would have very little influence until the masterplanning stage – after the decision has been made by Lambeth Council to demolish and rebuild the estate. Still no one seems keen to ask the more direct question of residents – which option do you prefer: repair, refurb, partial or full demolition?
Here is the information provided by PPCR at the sessions for those of you who weren’t able to attend:
“The Design Principles for Central Hill”
“The make up of the new estate”
(…though of course Lambeth haven’t made a decision yet!)
“What is Homes for Lambeth?”
Information for tenants
Information for homeowners
Piece by Architects for Social Housing (ASH) about Central Hill Estate.
“There is absolutely no reason to demolish the homes of Central Hill estate, but there are a large number of reasons not to. The first, last and most important of these is that it is home to around 1,500 residents — residents whose wishes have been completely ignored by Lambeth Council, but whose futures they threaten”
Click on link below for the full article:
In defence of Central Hill
ASH are currently working with residents to explore alternatives to Lambeth’s proposed demolition of the estate.
ASH plan to show their initial proposals to residents on the estate on 20th February 2016. It was initially proposed that ASH would present their alternatives alongside the designs by Lambeth appointed PRP architects at Lambeth’s consultation events scheduled for February 2016, However the consultation events have now been cancelled. Despite initially agreeing to this approach (voted for by residents on the Resident Engagement Panel) Lambeth have now said that they wish to meet with ASH privately. ASH do not accept this approach and have stated that they will not do business behind closed doors. More information to follow…
The link above will take you to the ASH website where there is information about how they have supported other estates in London.
It has now been announced by the Resident Engagement Panel (we have heard nothing official from Lambeth) that the consultation events in February 2016 have been cancelled.
The only explanation given is that ‘they [Lambeth] are not ready’. We can’t help but wonder if recent support for the estate in the national press may have something to do with this…
Lambeth have also told the Resident Engagement Panel that the decision on Central Hill has again been put back – to June 2016.
Central Hill estate has now been in ‘consultation’ since December 2014. Residents haven’t been shown a single plan or drawing for the proposed regeneration. There hasn’t been an estate wide drop in or workshop since 28th March 2015. Residents remain in the dark and in deep uncertainty about their futures while the regeneration continues to hang over their heads.
Meanwhile the REP have been working very hard to try and get information from Lambeth, there have been delays and excuses. Plans have been shown and then ‘taken off the table’. Lambeth won’t share financial models. This makes it impossible for the REP to give a clear picture to residents of what is happening. These are tactics that have been seen in other regeneration schemes – confuse residents and wear them out!
We await further information and will update when we know more…
Great piece on Central Hill Estate by Rowan Moore in the Observer today:
Housing Estates: if they aren’t broke…
To add to the arguments put forward by Rowan in support of our campaign to save the estate, there is also a huge human cost to this situation as summarised by one of our residents on social media today:
“Tenants will be offered choice of a home on the estate but will lose their secure tenancy if they accept this, or they can keep secure tenancy (though we don’t know how new Housing Bill may affect this) and move elsewhere in Lambeth – this would require tenants to bid along with all others on Lambeth housing waiting list. That’s thousands of people! Ultimately many if they choose not to stay would be forced out of the area.
Leaseholders will be bought out by the council, given the rising costs of housing in CP [Crystal Palace] most won’t be able to stay in the area with the amount they’ll get. Leaseholders can buy a new property on the rebuilt estate but would need to be able to afford 60% of cost for shared equity – but these properties will be valued at much higher prices – and many residents won’t be able to transfer or get a new mortgage anyway”.
Lambeth have FINALLY announced dates for estate wide consultation.
This will be the only opportunity for residents to see the proposed plans for the estate and make comments before Lambeth make their final decision in April 2016. They are currently telling the Resident Engagement Panel that partial and full demolition are the only options – it is vital that people come to these sessions to share how they feel about losing their homes and community.
The dates are:
FEBRUARY 16th 10am-5pm
At the shop on the estate.
FEBRUARY 18th 10am-5pm
At the shop on the estate.
FEBRUARY 18th 6pm-8pm
At the day centre on LUNHAM ROAD
FEBRUARY 20th 11am-3pm
At the day centre on LUNHAM ROAD
The proposed plans for the estate will only be available to view at the Lunham Rd sessions as there isn’t room at the shop.
Architects for Social Housing will be at the workshop on Saturday 20th Feb, presenting alternative plans they have put together to show how housing could be increased on the estate without demolishing it completely.
Hope to see you there.
Calling all residents, neighbours, interested parties – please make sure you go along to a meeting about the Central Hill regeneration on:
Saturday 17th October at 3pm at Christ Church, Gipsy Hill on Highland Road, SE19 1DP.
The meeting has been organised by residents who were elected onto the regeneration steering group – now renamed by Lambeth Council as the ‘Resident Engagement Panel’ (REP).
It is really important that residents and neighbours go along to hear the latest on what’s happening with the estate and how this will impact you. This will also be a chance to make your views known so the REP can take this back to the council.
Residents have had no information from Lambeth Council since July when they pushed the deadline for decision about demolition back (again!) to December. The REP have been meeting with Lambeth since then and hopefully will be able to update you on this timeline, what new information they have and to answer your questions.
The letter to residents about the meeting is below or can be accessed by pdf here – Invitation to REP meeting 17 10 15