South London residents are challenging plans by Lambeth Council over the future of their estate

The High Court has ruled today that Eva Bokrosova, a resident of an estate in South London, can bring a judicial review of Lambeth Council’s plans to demolish the Cressingham Gardens estate.

The Cressingham Gardens estate has 306 homes, 213 of these are council homes.

Lambeth Council started to consider the future of the estate in February 2014 and originally suggested five options for discussion by residents.

The options included:

  • Option 1 - Refurbishing the estate and bringing all council tenant homes up to decent homes standard, including the six void flats that have stood empty for over 16 years;
  • Options 2 and 3 - Refurbishing as in Option 1, plus infilling to create new homes.
  • Option 4 - Partial demolition of the estate, with the net extra in new build homes sold at top market price
  • Option 5 - Full demolition and rebuilding of the estate

At the High Court Mr Justice Holman  granted permission to allow Ms Bokrosova to challenge Lambeth Council’s decision to ‘abruptly close down’ consultation on options 1-3, options which were strongly supported by residents.

Lambeth Council now has 35 days to serve detailed grounds for contesting this challenge.

Separately the Council has asked leaseholders to pay up to £14,000 toward the cost of repairs to their houses, repairs which many residents say are unnecessary.

Residents are facing the prospect of paying for their homes to be repaired, only for them to be demolished in the regeneration plans that Lambeth has for the estate.

Human rights solicitor at Leigh Day Ugo Hayter said:

"We are pleased that the consultation to decide on the future of the Cressingham Gardens Estate will be subject to the full scrutiny of a judicial review.

“We believe that Lambeth Council’s abrupt decision to abandon the options most favoured by the residents and proceed to consult on only the demolition options is unlawful, clearly the Court sees the force in our arguments.

“The potential impact of this scheme for the residents of Cressingham Gardens is huge, accordingly residents were led to believe that their views on the future of their homes and community would be taken into account, however Lambeth Council unlawfully disregarded their responses."