More than 100 people sign petition against demolition of block in phase one of controversial rebuild of Upper Norwood’s Central Hill Estate

More than 100 people have signed a petition against the demolition of a building being used to house homeless people – the first phase of the redevelopment of what was once considered a pioneering estate.

Lambeth council’s planning committee has approved the planning application to build 31 new affordable homes at Truslove House, Roman Rise, Upper Norwood.

The site backs on to the doomed 460-home Central Hill Estate, earmarked for demolition by Lambeth council’s cabinet in 2016.

The Truslove planning application marks the first phase of the rebuilding of the Central Hill Estate to create 1,184 new homes by Homes for Lambeth – the council’s arms-length homebuilders.

Applicants Homes for Lambeth’s chief executive, Jitinder Takhar, said: “After many years of waiting, it comes with great pleasure Homes for Lambeth is progressing with the rebuilding of Central Hill Estate.

“The rebuilding of Central Hill will mean many more affordable homes for local residents and families and individuals on the housing waiting list.

“The new homes will also bring new jobs and training opportunities for our residents and contribute to Lambeth’s wider economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19.”

Councillor Matthew Bennett, Lambeth’s lead member for new homes, said: “I’m delighted HfL has secured planning permission for 31 genuinely affordable new homes, including 22 new council homes, on the Central Hill Estate.

“These homes will be built to the highest standards for local families and deliver significant reductions in carbon.

“Building these homes is the first step in meeting the council’s commitment to build a new home for every resident of Central Hill, after a majority of council tenants backed rebuilding the estate in an independent consultation.”

Lambeth’s Green group of councillors has slammed the scheme because it would mean a net loss of council homes.

A statement said: “In total 1,184 homes will be built but only 23 per cent are planned to be at Council Level Rent and more than 60 per cent would be for private sale.

“The project would complete in 2040, 30 years after the council began its initiative to build 1,000 new council homes, which it now turns out will
do little more than replace the ones it will demolish.

“Community engagement has been negligible. The community consultation carried out by Thorncliffe at the beginning of lockdown was an online
presentation which resulted in residents being unable to engage.

“In 2017 residents were told that they could expect to see a Community Centre as part of phase one. This will not now be the case.

“Lambeth council declared a climate emergency more than two years ago, yet trees that currently soak up pollution, provide shade and multiple other environmental benefits are to be felled and removed.

“Residents have not been balloted because most oppose the demolition of their structurally sound homes.

“They would rather see them refurbished and retrofitted instead, which is much better for the community and environment.”

Cllr Pete Elliott, Green Party councillor in Gipsy Hill ward, said: “I have lived on the Central Hill Estate for the past four years and I have
witnessed first-hand the unnecessary suffering that my neighbours have endured through deliberate neglect of the estate and community.

“Mental Health issues have been a real issue on the estate since residents were informed that their homes, of 50 years in some cases, were to be
demolished.

“Lambeth council must do everything in its power to protect the well-being of its residents, also to uphold the commitments made two
years ago to address the climate emergency.

“I will be standing alongside the residents of the Central Hill estate to object to the demolition of Truslove House.”

Pictured top: A computer-generated image of what the estate could look like after redevelopment


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