Lambeth Council began consulting on the future of the Cressingham Gardens Estate in 2012 – following a Lambeth-wide residents Housing Commission to consider how to respond to the decision of the Conservative-led government to cut over £100m of funding for refurbishment of council homes in Lambeth. That 2011 Commission, which included tenant and right-to-buy representatives from across Lambeth, recommended a programme of rebuilding estates where refurbishment was unaffordable. This would rebuild existing properties at modern standards and provide much needed additional new council homes.
The final decision to rebuild Cressingham Gardens was taken back in 2016 and a consultation has started on proposals submitted for planning approval for the first phase of providing new council homes on the Trinity Rise site. The same architects who have been working on the plans for the wider estate have been used for the Trinity Rise scheme which will deliver 100% affordable housing, including family-sized homes. All of the homes have private outdoor space and a communal garden will provide further safe outdoor play space for the under 5’s. As there is not enough money available to upgrade existing homes on the Estate, the new homes will be reserved for the tenants and homeowners already living on Cressingham Gardens in line with the Council’s Key Guarantees. Tenants who have already chosen to move off the Estate as part of this scheme will be next in line if they want to move back to the new council homes.
It is important to remember that Lambeth Council does not have the money to ensure all council homes in Lambeth are brought up to modern standards. There are also tens of thousands of people waiting for a council home in Lambeth and around 2000 homeless families. We need to find more space to build new council homes on land that Lambeth Council owns, Not doing this means people will continue to wait without the prospect of moving into a permanent home. The Council’s wholly-owned housing companyis now taking the Cressingham Gardens project forward directly without using external consultants – meaning the project remains under public control and oversight. We share the concern held by residents that a masterplan for the whole estate has taken longer to get going than it was anticipated in 2016 and that unacceptable delays have caused anxiety and uncertainty for residents living on the estate. The Trinity Rise site is the first phase of rebuilding the estate (with the masterplan following next year) and will give local families high-quality new homes at council rent that are desperately needed due to the national housing crisis. You can find out more about the proposals here and you can contribute to the consultation on the planning application right up until a couple of days before it is heard at Planning Committee some time next New Year (click here and search for application 20/02406/RG3).