Residents still angry with Brockwell Park proposals


Angry Brockwell Park residents are demanding the council reconsider the future of their historic estate after the publication of five new multi-million pound regeneration proposals.

Cressingham Gardens Estate, which backs on to Brockwell Park, could be fully or partially demolished under the plans, which were unveiled by Lambeth council.

Residents overwhelmingly favour refurbishment of the leaking roofs inside the estate, according to two separate polls organised by residents and the council. An e-petition has received 297 signatures.

The council has said the repairs, which they estimate could cost up to £15million, would not be cost-effective, but Nicholas Greaves, who is orchestrating Save Cressingham Gardens, has questioned the accuracy of these figures and vowed to hire an independent surveyor.

Mr Greaves also urged the council to consider the human cost of their plans. He said: “Scrapping it all and starting again is very wasteful.

“People have grown up and lived here all their lives. Families and communities have been built here. All of that will be shattered by a big regeneration project.”

Unsuccessful attempts have also been made to list the estate with English Heritage.

Cressingham Gardens was designed by renowned architect Edward Hollamby and has been praised for its imaginative post-war structure.

Catherine Croft, Director of the Twentieth Century Society, said: “It’s a really good example of thoughtful, post-war housing in a fabulous setting.

“It deserves to be well maintained and if it was well looked after by the council as well as the residents it would be a fantastic place to live.”

Campaigners have also raised concerns about the estates prior management.

Mr Greaves believes the estate was poorly managed by the council in the lead-up to the redevelopment proposals.

He said: “They’ve allowed the estate to be run down. It would be in a much better state if it had been privately owned”

The estate currently lies below tree level at the edge of Brockwell Park. Campaigners are concerned the redevelopment proposals will spoil views of the park.

Peter Bradley, Chair of Friends of Brockwell Park, said: “For us, the preservation of a similarly sympathetic and modest profile would be a key concern for any replacement.

“We would oppose an intrusive, disproportionately-sized scheme that would spoil the view for visitors.”

Conservative Leader of the Opposition on Lambeth Council, Councillor Tim Briggs, said this was another example of the Labour party using its majority to force through unpopular legislation.

Cllr Briggs said: “We would hope and expect Lambeth to take note of the concerns raised by residents, as any good administration should.

“We hope Lambeth Council will think again and try to properly accommodate the concerns of residents by working with them, not against them.

“There is always a solution, but the council has to be bothered enough to find it and reach a consensus.”

Cllr Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Housing, on Lambeth Council, defended the council’s handling of the estate.

He said: “We are working closely with residents and the Cressingham Gardens Tenants and Residents Association on the estate’s future.

“We will also be surveying every household on Cressingham Gardens to make sure people’s needs during any refurbishment or redevelopment proposals are understood and can be met.”

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