11 October 2019
Green councillors in Lambeth have called on the Council to scrap plans to demolish six housing estates across the borough. In a letter to the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council, the Greens urge Lambeth Council to ‘lift the shadow of demolition’ and ‘give residents some certainty about their futures’.
Lambeth Cabinet launched their estate regeneration scheme in December 2014.  Since then residents of the six earmarked estates, including Central Hill, Cressingham Gardens and Westbury, have lived with the threat of demolition of their homes. The Greens say this is having a detrimental impact on both the physical and mental health of residents on the estates as the prospect of demolition and the uncertainty of plans is leading to high levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
The letter, cosigned by all members of Lambeth’s Green Group, also highlights the high environmental cost of estate demolition through the release of embodied carbon and through emissions from construction. An environmental impact assessment produced by the Architects for Social Housing for the Central Hill Estate found that demolition would release around 7,000 tonnes of CO2e , almost the equivalent of the total declared carbon emissions by the whole of Lambeth council’s operations over a 12-month period. 
Councillor Pete Elliott (Gipsy Hill) said:
“Through the risky and reckless estate demolition programme the council has uprooted families and destroyed communities with apparently nothing to show for it. It’s plans do not make sense environmentally, socially or financially. The council declared a climate emergency in January of this year. Estate demolition directly completely undermines this declaration and the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.
“Since estate regeneration began 172 households have been moved off the estates and into alternative council owned properties. At the same time, zero new properties have been completed on the 6 estates. All this has cost the Council well over £60m already. Despite claims by Lambeth Labour, this is doing nothing to tackle the housing crisis and is creating a huge amount of stress and anxiety for our residents. We are yet to receive a response to our letter but we hope the Leader of the Council will do the sensible thing and put an immediate stop to demolition plans and invest instead in the refurbishment of homes.”