Achilles Stop and Listen Campaign
Lewisham Council are going to Mayor and Cabinet this Wednesday 18 September to get approval for the Achilles Street Landlord Offer for an Estate Regeneration Ballot. This is the offer that the Council is going to make to residents in their ballot about whether or not the Achilles Street area should be demolished. Details of the Mayor and Cabinet meeting and a link to the report are as follows:
Date: Wednesday 18 September
Place: Committee Rooms 1 & 2, Civic Suite
Lewisham Town Hall, Catford
Time: Starts at 6.30pm ( come along and show the council they have to be accountable)
The Achilles Street Landlord Offer is item No 4 on the Agenda and the report and its two appendices can be found at: http://councilmeetings.lewisham.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=139&MId=5641
We have asked for permission to respond at the Mayor and Cabinet meeting and are currently waiting to see if that permission has been granted.
This is an important decision which will have a massive impact on the lives of residents and the wider community. You can raise any objections and concerns you have by emailing or writing to the Mayor and Cabinet and members of the Overview and Scrutiny Business Panel – the committee which monitors Council decisions – contact details can be found at the end of the document.
Below are some objections and concerns that the Campaign has, so please feel free to use these or adapt accordingly:
Word Doc for Copy and pasting below
- The report was two days late going up on Lewisham’s website, which breaches the Council’s own procedures to allow adequate time for public scrutiny. Given the importance and potential consequences of the decision on residents and the local community, more time should be allowed for the public to scrutinise the documents and raise any objections and concerns.
- Residents shouldn’t be expected to vote on an offer that has no detailed information. At the moment the offer consists of vague aspirations and empty promises. The boundaries to the ‘redevelopment’ have recently been changed, which means that there is approximately 25% less land to build on. As Lewisham are still aiming to squeeze more than 450 housing units into this smaller space it means that housing density is going to increase significantly. No new plans have been put forward to reflect these changes, which means that residents will have no idea of what the ‘redevelopment’ is going to look like. So residents are being asked to vote on something without being given crucial information to base their decision on.
- The report and offer to residents also doesn’t give any information about the impact of the ‘redevelopment’ on the social infrastructure, schools, GPs, congestion etc. Nor does it give any information about the environmental impact of demolition and the 8 years plus years of building works.
- The offer contains no real choices for residents about what happens to their area just ‘demolition’ or ‘nothing’. For almost 4 years now residents have been asking for a range of options to be considered in terms of improving the area. Whilst the Council has been happy to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on working up their plans for demolition not a penny has been spent on developing alternative proposals with residents, for example infill or refurbishment. The offer should give residents genuine choices about what happens to their homes and local community.
- The offer is misleading about the number of council homes the ‘redevelopment’ will provide, the supposed reason it was proposed in the first place. There are currently 49 council tenants in the Achilles Street area; and the offer states that long term council tenants will continue to pay the same level of rent i.e. council rents. This means there will be no gain in council housing (people paying council rents) if the ‘redevelopment’ goes ahead. Council homes at council rent is the most affordable type of social housing and the type of housing most needed in Lewisham. The offer and the proposal on which it is based will do nothing to increase the number of council homes in Lewisham.
- The offer is also misleading about the provision of ‘social‘ housing in the ‘redevelopment’. It is estimated that only 100 out of the 450 new homes being built will be ‘social‘ housing (most of the new homes being built will be private – for sale or rent). However these 100 new so called ‘social’ homes will be at London Affordable Rent – which is 70% – 45% higher than council rent depending on the size of the home. In other words the people on London Affordable Rent will be paying £50-£60 more a week than those on council rent. Lewisham Council should not be accepting London Affordable Rent as a ‘social’ rent; and should be building new homes to be let at council rent levels.
- The offer does not give a lot of people in the community who are directly affected by the ‘redevelopment’ the right to vote. This includes temporary council tenants who haven’t been on the housing waiting list for a year, private tenants and the small independent businesses who stand to lose their homes and livelihoods.
You can email any objections or concerns you have to:
Word doc for copy and pasting includes email addresses of Councillors
Damien Egan email@example.com
Councillor Chris Best firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Chris Barnham email@example.com
Councillor Paul Bell firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Kevin Bonavia email@example.com
Councillor Andre Bourne firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Joe Dromey email@example.com
Councillor Brenda Dacres firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Sophie McGeevor Cllr_Sophie.McGeevor@lewisham.gov.uk
Councillor Amanda De Ryk email@example.com
Councillor Joani Reid firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Jonathan Slater email@example.com
Mayor and Cabinet email list for copying and pasting
Overview and Scrutiny Business Panel
Councillor Bill Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Sakina Sheikh Cllr_Sakina.Sheikh@lewisham.gov.uk
Councillor Peter Bernards email@example.com
Councillor Juliet Campbell Cllr_Juliet.Campbell@lewisham.gov.uk
Councillor Patrick Codd Cllr_Patrick.Codd@lewisham.gov.uk
Councillor Liam Curran firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Jim Mallory email@example.com
Councillor Joan Millbank firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor John Muldoon email@example.com
Councillor Luke Sorba firstname.lastname@example.org
Overview and Scrutiny Business Panel email list for copying and pasting
Or you can write to any of the councilors with any objections or concerns you have:
Postal Address: Lewisham Town, Catford Road, London SE6 4RU