COUNCILLOR CALLS ON LAMBETH TO SAVE OLD PEOPLE’S HOMES

8 July 2016

Green Party councillor Scott Ainslie is calling on Monday July 11th’s meeting of Lambeth Council’s Cabinet to confirm that two sheltered housing estates will be saved from demolition.

Elderly residents of Macintosh Court, in Leigham Court Road, Streatham, and Queenswood Court, in Hamilton Road, Gipsy Hill, have suffered more than three years of uncertainty since Lambeth Council decided to demolish their flats and sell the land for development.

Residents of both estates were told last month the Council would perform a u-turn and their homes would be saved - and refurbished instead. The announcement came days after Labour came within 36 votes of losing Gipsy Hill ward to the Green Party, which had campaigned in the by-election against estate demolitions.

Lambeth’s cabinet will be asked to ratify the decision to save the homes when it meets on Monday, July 11th. [1]Cllr Scott Ainslie (St Leonard’s ward), said: "I’m calling on Lambeth’s cabinet to do the right thing and reassure vulnerable elderly people that their homes are indeed safe.”

"Three and a half years of stress and worry are now over," said 66-year-old Deidre Shaw, who helped lead the campaign against demolition of Macintosh Court. " We've kept going and refused to take No for an answer."

Jill Tomlinson, a resident of Queenswood Court, said: “It would have been so traumatic to move. We were facing a lot of stress and misery. Thank you to the Green Party for its support. They brought someone to talk to us who had been through the same experience at the Glebe sheltered housing estate in Streatham. And it was really helpful to have them on our side.” [2]

The campaign to save Macintosh Court - previously called 269 Leigham Court Road - was supported by Cllr Ainslie and its original architect Kate Macintosh, together with organisations including Architects for Social Housing, the 20th Century Society, Open-City, and Docomo Inernational.

"Scott's support has been a morale-booster. And to have qualified, informed, like-minded people supporting us has been amazing," said Deidre.

The campaign received widespread press coverage and earlier this month was part of London-wide Open Garden Estates weekend [3].

A key factor in the residents' success was securing Grade II listed building status for Macintosh Court, which is a rare example of 1970s "Brutalist" arrchitecture in a domestic setting.

Ironically, neglect by Lambeth Council over several decades, may have contributed to the listing by English Heritage in 2015; none of the estates' original features, such as wooden window frames, had been replaced.

"It's not over yet," says Deidre, hugging her beloved cat Poppy. "If Lambeth ratify the decision on 11th July, then we'll allow ourselves to breathe a sigh of relief."

NOTES
[1] Revised Proposal for Lambeth Older People’s Housing Programme:  https://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/documents/s82632/160701%20OP%20Housing%20Programme%20Update.pdf

[2] In 2013 The Green Party's Scott Ainslie and Jonathan Bartley helped save The Glebe sheltered housing from demolition: http://streathamnews.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/sheltered-housing-saved-in-streatham.html  

[3] Open Garden Estates weekend: http://opengardenestates.com/macintosh-court/

To speak to Cllr Scott Ainslie tel. 07920 547855
For further information call Chris Holt tel. 07866 801177






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