LAMBETH COUNCIL wants to attract residents with “higher income and higher capital assets” by building more than 100 buy-to-let properties in a housing estate redevelopment.
Officers at the London council published their preference for the scheme yesterday, hours before councillors were due to decide whether to demolish the Cressingham Gardens estate, where about 43 per cent of residents receive full housing benefit.
The “new population will change the employment profile of the estate,” the council report boasts.
Out of 464 new planned properties 135 will be sold on the market.
Only 23 extra homes, with three to four bedrooms, will have council-level rents.
A council spokesman told the Star that the low figure of social-rent homes was “a number we can comfortably get on the site,” despite high-rise blocks being set to replace the current low-level buildings.
He also dismissed accusations of social cleansing as “ridiculous.”
Labour-run Lambeth is pointing the finger at the former Con-Dem coalition for “lack of funding” and says the £9.4million refurbishment option preferred by Save Cressingham Gardens campaigners is triple what it can afford.
The campaigners blame Lambeth for running down the estate to justify the £100m redevelopment plans.
Resident and journalist Joanne Parks accused the council of “manipulating the truth.”
She said it let the estate fall into disrepair by “managed decline” — letting trees grow too large, failing to repair guttering, allowing wood frames to rot and damp to get into homes due to “botched maintenance.”
Questionnaires commissioned by Lambeth asked leading questions, according to Ms Parks, and misrepresented residents’ views.
According to the council, “no full refurbishment scenarios could be progressed” and “the council made the cabinet decision in March 2015 to cease any further consultation on refurbishment scenarios.”