Southwark Council appear to be attempting to turn the Ledbury Estate towers repair/rebuild project into a massive estate-wide regeneration programme in alliance with the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan without any resident approval.
Two weeks ago, discussions began for the first time between Southwark Council and the Ledbury Estate Resident Project Board about the demolition and rebuild option to the four tower blocks, revealing some of Southwark's intentions and ambitions for the estate.
For the past six months, the Resident Project Board have been busy discussing refurbishment solutions and until now, everyone understood any demolition and rebuild option to mean just that - dismantling the four tower blocks and rebuilding new blocks in their place, keeping the same number of council homes.
Southwark Council clearly could not resist the temptation of cashing in on the Ledbury Estate's land value potential by pimping it out as part of the Old Kent Road Area Action Plan. Over the course of the past few days, Southwark Council have suddenly announced with a nonchalant 'no big deal' attitude that they will be maximising the scope by including the entire estate in the Options Appraisal Brief which can be seen here.
This document was drawn up in February 2018 but was not publicly released until the day after the local elections.
Southwark Council have assured us that they will not be demolishing the unaffected low rise blocks on the estate, but they haven't explained why 'full demolition of the estate' remains on the brief and we are awaiting on a formal decision from the council leader on this.
The four towers together occupy 0.17 hectares of land worth (£8,330,000*). Southwark have taken a decision, behind closed doors, without any resident approval, to increase the amount of land included in this project to include the entire estate of 3.8 hectares (worth £186,200,000*). Thereby increasing the scope and potential profits by 2,135%
* DCLG Land Values December 2015
At a meeting on 15th May, more previously unheard ideas sprang out of Southwark. They are now considering 'refurbishing' the low rises (which could include decanting residents, building extra storeys on top, cladding them, or reconfiguring layouts.) The community centre has also been earmarked as up for demolition, and they want to identify sites to 'infill' new builds.
Southwark Council have, all of a sudden, developed a very fast moving 'anything goes' approach towards the Ledbury Estate, and even began discussing the possibility of shop frontage and offices on the Old Kent Road edge of the estate, and the possibility of a new tall tower block on the corner of Commercial Way. All this is news to the Resident Project Board, as they have not been party to formulating or discussing any of these ideas to date.
At the meeting, the Options Appraisal Consultants revealed the maps that Southwark Council have agreed for them to work to:
Red line - Boundary for extent of Options Appraisal
Orange mark - (Tower blocks and Community Centre) 'Blocks Under Consideration for Demolition and Redevelopment'
Purple mark - (Low Rise Maisonettes) 'Blocks Under Consideration for Extension and For Refurbishment'
Red line - Boundary For Extent of Options Appraisal
Blue Mark - Possible Area For Redevelopment/ New Build Consideration
Ledbury Action Group REJECT the Options Appraisal Brief for the following reasons:
1) The scope has always been limited to the four towers only and cannot simply be extended because Southwark choose to
2) The low rise blocks are not affected by the problems in the towers (they are of a different form of construction) and therefore there is no requirement to include them
3) At the time of this publication, the low rise residents have not even been told by Southwark Council that their homes are listed and included in the Options Appraisal brief
4) At the time of this publication, there is no low rise resident representation on the Resident Project Board
5) Southwark have no mandate or agreement from the estate to widen this project beyond the four towers
1) Southwark pause the Options Appraisal Process immediately
2) Southwark remove the wider estate from the scope of the Options Appraisal brief
3) Southwark start again with genuine inclusion and meaningful consultation - calling a public meeting for the entire estate to establish whether the low rise residents would like to opt-in or opt-out of their homes being included in the Options Appraisal process.
4) Southwark allow residents to have input in determining the timetable for the Options Appraisal process and the Cabinet decision on the future of the estate.
5) Southwark assume no consent to any demolition, regeneration, new build or 'refurbishment', until express consent is explicitly given by residents through estate wide votes and ballots.
- Danielle Gregory (Ledbury Resident)
- Glenn Holmes (Ledbury Resident & Resident Project Board Member)
- Hannan Majid (Ledbury Resident)
- Jeanette Mason (Chair, Ledbury Estate Tenant & Residents Association)
- Susan Slaughter (Secretary, Ledbury Estate Tenant & Residents Association & Resident Project Board Member)
- Eileen Bassom (Treasurer, Ledbury Estate Tenant & Residents Association)
- Richard York, Rainbow Collective
- Rosa Kurowska, Rainbow Collective
- Loretta Lees, Professor of Human Geography, Writer on Gentrification, Urban Regeneration and Architecture
- Southwark Law Centre
- Councillor Maria Linforth-Hall, Southwark Liberal Democrats
- Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations (SGTO)
- Save Cressingham Campaign
- Southwark Notes
- Georgie Stephanou aka 'Potent Whisper'
- Save Brixton Arches
- Our Brixton
- Nikki Miller (Ledbury Resident)
- Grace Lally, Unite Community Lambeth & Southwark
- Bill Perry, Radical Housing Network
- Danielle Giblin (Ledbury Resident)
- Nicola Giblin (Ledbury Resident)
- People's Republic of Southwark
- Eleanor Margolies, Co-chair, Southwark Green Party
- Cris Claridge, Southwark tenant
- Phil Vabulas, Co-chair, Southwark Green Party
- Esther Drabkin-Reiter, Commercial Way Resident
- Olunike (Ledbury Resident)
- Michelle Halabi (Ledbury Resident)
- Anne E Cooper, Author, Activist, Artist
- The Grenfell Fire Forum (No Affiliation to Socialist Equality Party)
- Les Rahmatullah (Ledbury Resident)
- Shirley Murphy (Ledbury Resident)
- Paul Sng, Director of 'Dispossession'
- John Tyson, Southwark resident
- FOCUS E15 Mothers Campaign
- Khadijah Mamudu aka Still I Rise Grenfell Tower
- Balfron Social Club
- Save Chrisp Street Campaign
- Alice Martin, Up The Elephant
- Doug Thorpe, Stop Haringey Development Vehicle Campaign
- Stop HDV Campaign
- Richard Chute, Radical Housing Network
- Achilles Stop & Listen Campaign, New Cross
- Demolition Watch London
- Xiomara Erazo (Ledbury Resident)
- Tanya Murat, Chair of Southwark Defend Council Housing
- Charlie Duffield (Ledbury Resident)
- Jean Duffield (Ledbury Resident)
- Lisa Duffield (Ledbury Resident)
- Caro Feistritzer, Masters Student, Post-Colonial Culture & Global Policy, Goldsmith's University
- Patria Roman, Founding Chair, Latin Elephant
- Phil Murphy, Manchester Communities
- Real Tenant Voice Campaign
- Matt Phull, Up The Elephant
- Aysen Dennis, Fight 4 Aylesbury, Aylesbury Estate Resident, Wendover Community TRA Chair
- Pete Elliot, Green Councillor, Lambeth Council
- Anela Takac (Ledbury Resident)
- Karen O'Toole, Southwark Council Tenant
- Chris Saunders, Artist
- Helen Carr, Artist & Activist, Cressingham Gardens
- Emily Jost, Save Northwold
- Piers Thompson, Coordinator, Save Our Silchester
- Tanya Thompson, Coordinator, Save Our Silchester
- Frances Clarke, founder, Tower Blocks UK
- John Pandit, Musician and Activist
- The People's Audit
- Emer Mary Morris, Author, Writer & Producer, Co-Director 'Land Of The Three Towers'
- Luke Doonan, Property and Social Housing Expert, Author and Television Presenter
- Natalia Garay, Cheap Cuts Documentary Festival
- Vera Hems Anderson, Cheaps Cuts Documentary Festival
- Tom Keene, PhD Researcher, Department of Design, Goldsmith's University
- Ruhul Abdin, Artist
- Glyn Robbins, Author, 'There's No Place, The American Housing Crisis and What It Means For The UK'
- Daniela Perez (Ledbury Resident)
- Pilgrim Tucker, Community Organiser
- Stephen Pritchard, Artists Against Social Cleansing
- Andy Worthington, Journalist, Narrator ‘Concrete Soldiers’ Film
- Fran Rowland (Ledbury Resident)
- Steed Rowland (Ledbury Resident)
- Dr Stuart Hodkinson, University of Leeds
- Alex Rhys, Southwark resident
- Nevenka Martin, Chalcots resident, Camden
- Fight For The Aylesbury, Aylesbury Estate
- Save Fenwick Estate, Lambeth
- Tom George, Lewisham resident
- Wendover Tenants & Residents Association, Aylesbury Estate
- Tracey Beresford, Secretary, Southwark Green Party
- Elephant Amenity Network
- 35% Campaign
- Radical Housing Network
- Concrete Action
- Eileen Short, Defend Council Housing
- Mick Patrick, Homes For All Campaign
- Conrad Heine, Northfield House, Friary Estate
- Fabian Cante, Old Kent Road Resident
- Dr Paul Watt, Professor of Urban Studies, Birkbeck University of London
- Ruth London, Fuel Poverty Action
- Sian Berry, Chair of the Housing Committee, London Assembly