Social housing plans for Nunhead face strong opposition

By Alexandra Warren

Plans to build social housing on green spaces are facing strong opposition.

Southwark council has proposed to build nine homes on the Priory Court Estate in Cheltenham Road in Nunhead, as part of its commitment to building 11,000 new council houses.

More than 30 residents from the estate have formed a residents association in order to fight the proposal.

They are concerned about the loss of a children’s play area and a shared community space, as well as trees, green space and light.

Abel Nwanokwai, leader of the tenants and residents association, said: “The building of the flats will remove the only and vital green space and play area from the use of our children on the estate.

“The new buildings will block out the sun for the existing flats and put the remaining areas in shadow. It will also block daylight to the houses in the neighbouring streets.”

Inhabitants are also indignant that they were not consulted about the changes.

Nwanokwai said: “Priory Court estate has been ignored and abandoned by the council for too long.

“There are no improvements and council officers never contacted us for anything.

“And now, when the council decides to pay some attention to us it is to take our rights and to cause irreparable harm to residents.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We have discussed with the project group how they would like to see the council improve community facilities and enhance the green space, visible dedicated play space and community facilities are areas that the council are working on incorporating into any new development.

“We are also in direct liaison with the current occupiers of the community space on how best to ensure they can continue their work in the borough.

“The proposal does include demolishing the existing garages in order to build new council homes at council rents with at least 50 per cent of these going to residents in housing need in the local area. We will be working with those renting the garages to help find them alternative garages where possible.

“Our next steps are to work up designs that address the improvements the project group would like to see on the estate with a view to submitting the scheme for planning in early 2021.”

Pictured top: Cheltenham Road in Nunhead (Picture: Google Street View)



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