On Monday 8th April more than 150 local residents joined a public meeting at the Cinema Museum to voice their concerns over a proposed private residential development on the site of the former “Woodlands” nursing home. Plans include a 29 storey tower block and a four storey ‘mansion’ block.
At the meeting I asked the Lambeth Labour councillors present about the progress they had made towards meeting their 2014 manifesto commitment to build 1,000 new council homes, but received no clear answers.
I followed up with a letter to Councillor Jack Hopkins, Council Leader. In my letter I note:
“The Kennington Stage proposal bears so many of the hallmarks of a Lambeth Labour housing strategy that is fundamentally broken:
- Public (former NHS land) sold to private developers on the cheap
- Anthology as favoured development partner of the Labour Mayor, having accessed total loans of around £50m (which accounts for a full 20% of the GLA Land Fund), of which £21.8m was granted for this specific development
- Only 24 units are proposed social housing, with no confirmation that these will be provided at rents equal to council rents
- The Cinema Museum (a valued local cultural institution) used as a pawn in the developer’s plans, with the security of its future pitted against other vital community considerations.”
I request that Lambeth Council use their powers to reconsider their approach to the Woodlands site and their ill-considered and unjustified estate “regeneration” programme.
“Lambeth Liberal Democrats therefore call on Lambeth Council to:
- Require Councillor Davies to step down from his role as a trustee of the Cinema Museum
- Demand that the Mayor of London publishes full details of the rationale for the GLA’s loans to Anthology
- Explore options for the purchase of the Woodlands site by Lambeth Council, with the express intent of building net new homes with secure council tenancy and council level rent
- Press pause on current plans for demolition of existing council homes on Lambeth estates.”
I am yet to receive a response to my letter, which can be read in full here and here. Every single person in our community has the right to a safe and secure home. It is within the powers of Lambeth Labour to deliver.