The Cressingham Gardens Estate in Lambeth, south London, has been temporarily saved following a court order preventing Lambeth Council from demolishing the estate until the conclusion of a legal challenge. The order also prohibits the council from beginning possession proceedings and compulsory purchases. The order was agreed by the council and endorsed by a High Court judge on 26 September 2016.

This latest legal challenge against the demolition of the estate has been brought by Andy Plant, a resident of the estate represented by law firm Leigh Day. A judicial review hearing in his case will be held at the High Court on 15 to 17 November 2016. The grounds for judicial review include a failure by Lambeth Council to follow its own criteria as to the net value of demolition, as well as a breach of Mr Plant’s right to property. Mr Plant is a member of the ‘Save Cressingham Gardens’ campaign.

This is the second judicial review relating to the estate following the launch of Lambeth Council’s regeneration programme in 2012 which put homes on the estate under threat. In the first judicial review in November 2015 the High Court ruled that Lambeth Council had acted unlawfully when it removed options for refurbishment from its public consultation on the future of the estate. This prompted a re-consultation earlier this year, which resulted in another decision in March 2016 to demolish the estate, despite strong opposition from residents.

Permission for the latest judicial review, brought by Mr Plant against Lambeth Council’s March 2016 decision, was granted at the High Court on 19 August 2016.

Rowan Smith, of Leigh Day, said: “We are extremely pleased that Lambeth Council has backed down and agreed the terms of a court order in our client’s favour. This means that Lambeth Council is strictly limited to what steps it can take on the estate before current legal proceedings have concluded, otherwise it will be in breach of the order and contempt of court.

“The estate is safe for now, but the legal case to decide its future is still going on. We are preparing for the court hearing in November 2016, meanwhile Lambeth Council is prevented from demolishing the estate.”

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