LewishamNews

Outsider’s bid to take over Lambeth estate gets frosty reception

 

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A Birmingham-based firm’s attempt to take over an estate 120 miles away in Lambeth has suffered a major setback after a survey revealed eight in 10 residents have no interest in the plans.

The results of a consultation carried out at the end of last year pose an obstacle to Vision Homes, which wants to take over management of 284 homes on the Lothian Estate in Myatt’s Field from Lambeth council.

An overwhelming 82 per cent of tenants said they weren’t interested in voting on the proposals and every single leaseholder who responded said they didn’t want the ballot to go ahead.

About two thirds of residents on the estate, which has 234 council tenants and 50 leaseholders, responded to the consultation.

Vision Homes has promised to pour £4.4 million into the estate over five years if its takeover bid is successful. The money to fund the investment would be loaned to Vision Homes ‘by a private family business (the Berger family) on very low interest rates of 2.4 per cent’, according to an offer document distributed to people living on the estate.

The residents’ group PACCA is spearheading the plans for Vision Homes. PACCA previously managed the estate between 2009 and 2014.

Vision Homes’ offices would be based at PACCA’s offices in Lothian Road. (Picture: Robert Firth)

Vision Homes has also committed to giving tenants one per cent rent reductions each year for the first three years it manages properties and offering all residents with bathrooms more than 30-year-old new ones, as well as replacing kitchens that are more than 20 years old.

If a ballot goes ahead, only tenants will get to vote on Vision Homes’ takeover plans. Leaseholders have previously said they’re worried about the lack of information about future service charges and ground rent in the event the stock transfer is successful.

Lambeth council said the results of the consultation showed there was little support for Vision Homes’ plans among residents and that a ballot wasn’t needed.

Local Labour councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop said: “Lambeth council has confirmed that it believes no ballot is now needed on these proposals given the large turnout and clear majority who rejected these plans.

“We support this position and would urge Vision Homes Lambeth to listen to the people and abandon the proposal. It is concerning that early indications appear to show that the for-profit outfit still wants to continue with a ballot.”

A spokesperson for Vision Homes Lambeth said: “Discussions are ongoing with Lambeth council regarding a future ballot. The recent consultation results were in our view, inconclusive, and as such, Vision Homes is supportive of the proposals going to a formal ballot process.”

Pictured top: The Lothian Estate in Myatt’s Fields (Picture: Robert Firth)

 

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