The Westbury Residents’ Main Concerns

Main concerns raised by attendees

Whether possible demolition of the estate is the right decision in the first instance.
• Why is demolition in any scenario?
• Has Lambeth considered other options as opposed to those currently suggested?
• The Process followed by Lambeth appears to be flawed.
• The financial model is questionable. More transparency and verification is required.
• Is it social housing/affordable housing?
• What is the private developers’ role in project or ownership and impact on residents?
• Time frame for transition is extremely short. More transition time is imperative for residents to look at all options, consider them and make well informed decisions. Affecting them, their families and their lives.
• The ‘apparent’ surveys so far taken by Socio-life on behalf of Lambeth not fully representative of resident’s views.
• What are the potential consequences of demolition on the quality of lives of residents? Noise pollution, building sites and disruption.
• Is the amount/ volume of new suggested homes the right amount?
• Buyers were not informed of any potential demolition/rebuilding.
• Tenants have incurred major expenses in improving their homes.
• Potential buyers are uncertain about the right to buy applications being processed or recently awarded to them.
• Leaseholders have serious questions about the offers to them. Such as shared equity, shared ownership etc.
• Why not 100% ownership for leaseholders or like for like?
• There is uncertainty of financial and mortgage arrangements suggested to leaseholders.
• What is the affordability and cost of new homes for leaseholders?
• What is the affordability of rent for tenants?
• Will be it ‘like for like’ for new homes? Eg size, children, elderly and disabled folks, ground floor accessibility.
• Will the size of new homes, be smaller or bigger? And if so what is the impact?
• Will tenants be forced to bid for homes?
• There is need for more options for tenants to enable them make well informed decisions.
• There is need for clear and unambiguous options/offers, for residents from Lambeth with legal penalties.
• What will be the manner and style of bull dozing and subsequent impact?
• How long will construction take and its effects?
• Structural issues-Whether structures will block access to light/windows of some neighbours etc…
• Health implications for residents due to the extensive and continuous construction.
• Impact on GP services as a result of the volume of families moving into the estate at once.
• Environmental implications for residents and neighbourhood for an extensive period.
• Will tenancy agreements be altered?
• Whether management will be under housing association.
• Security of tenancy is in question.
• Will there be an Increase in service charges?
• What are Lambeth council’s sources of Finance?
• What are the verifiable resources, costs/expenditure, viability and completion of the whole project?
• ‘SPV’ –LTD companies’ model, is it private door privatisation?
Suggested alternative so far:
• Green space, car parks, other spaces, industrial space, around the estate, building above flats?

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No To demolition of peoples homes


Lambeth council targets yet another estate for “regeneration”

Westbury Estate, SW8, is in danger!

Westbury has 242 homes on a well-laid out and spacious estate with attractive grass and tree-lined areas.

Lambeth Council do not seem to have any serious consideration for the current residents, regardless of the opposition to any redevelopment, the Council will bulldoze their way across the Westbury Estate to ruin lives.

The Council is proposing that up to 200 units are added to the estate; final approval is due in June 2015 and the disruptive building work could take up to five years to complete.

There are two tower blocks on the estate, both 204-feet high. Each holds 21 floors, 80 flats in each, with a total of 160 homes. These will not be demolished. The main estate area is made up of maisonette blocks and single-story flats; a total of 82 homes. The Council plan to lever in up to 200 more units built in and around the current 82 homes, causing devastation to the quality of life for the current residents. The complete demolition option of the 82 homes is also a strong scenario. How much worse can it get for the bullied residents?

Westbury is beloved by its residents because of its feeling of space and quiet; however, these wonderful qualities are obviously not allowed by Lambeth who consider the Westbury Estate to be ripe for plunder and caustic redevelopment.

Now the residents face the potential of overcrowding, reduced parking, and local services unable to cope with the increase in people. Many residents in the estate have spent most of their lives there and have a strong sense of community. The phrase “A sense of community” is often used by Lambeth Council in their literature when trying to qualify the redevelopment of Westbury and other estates. Ironically, the destruction of the estates will divide communities, not enhance.

The Council commissioned a group called Social Life to gather information about residents’ thoughts on the redevelopment of the estate and architects, Metropolitan Workshops, to prepare plans for the redevelopment. Some residents were advised in October 2014 of the redevelopment potential, some heard only in January this year. Over several recent meetings residents have met with the council representatives together with Social Life & Metropolitan Workshop. However, each meeting raises more questions, most unanswered by Lambeth, and leaves residents worried and confused.

Lambeth Council have shown a complete disrespect for the residents of Westbury Estate.

If the Council Officers are no longer trusted by their tenants and leaseholders, then the future of community cooperation will fail and send the Council Housing Estates back to the concrete jungles of the sixties.

For more information contact the Save Westbury Estate working group:

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Cabinet meeting to build new homes in Lambeth

On Monday 8 December, there was a Lambeth Council, cabinet meeting (see here for minutes). One of the agenda items was “Building the homes we need to house the people of Lambeth”. This referred to the plans to add 1000 new homes in Lambeth over the next 5 years. The six estates targeted for regeneration are:

Cressingham Gardens
Central Hill
South Lambeth
Knights Walk

Some estates have known about this for a while and have been doing their best to fight the destruction of their homes. Here on Westbury, we were informed only a couple of months ago and we are scrambling to save our homes.

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