Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Information Only
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To progress the Westbury Estate regeneration
project through design and planning.
The decision is necessary so as to confirm the Council’s commitment to fund the design and planning of this estate regeneration project.
The decision is necessary so as to give residents certainty about the nature of the project that the Council intends to proceed with.
Nigel Haselden, Clapham Town ward councillor, firstly noted that the extension of time for consultation had been ideal, proving critical to progress. It had been a design-led process, enabling residents to grasp and own the process. The estate was in a strong position to make huge benefits with good transport links, commercial development, and under-subscribed schools and parks on the north side. There had also been consultations for residents, from which the council had learnt lessons to apply to future projects, and it represented an achievement, with community engagement increasing and positive feedback from residents and ward councillors. Scenario 2 was the favoured option and was confident in advocating it for the benefit of Clapham Town residents.
The Leader of the Council invited Cabinet members to comment:
• The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said that the incorporation of private sector housing was key for keeping the mix of what makes Lambeth great and was an important part of the borough. She noted that the home environment was essential for the right life balance, and these developments represented a real opportunity, but would require consulting with existing residents and social sector user groups. The new standards of design and build would be vital for those with social needs (e.g. en suite bathrooms for those in need), but not by retrofitting; and asked how this was to be built into proposals.
• The Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability commented that despite increasingly high private sector rents and property prices, residents were saying that they wanted to stay in the borough, and regeneration would help this.
• The Cabinet Member for Children and Families was glad to see a reasonably acceptable compromise at Knight’s Walk. She emphasised that nobody in the Council wanted to propose to demolish homes and it was regrettable that was needed. Councillors were sympathetic, and made working with residents a high priority. She noted that Knight’s Walk had not been handled well by the Council at the outset, but that local councillors and residents had arrived at a compromise. However, lessons needed to be learnt from this for future estate regeneration, particularly around involving local people.
• The Deputy Leader of the Council (Policy) noted the difficulties of estate regeneration, but that each estate had been judged separately, with detailed conversations with residents and that this process would carry on throughout the development. However, these difficulties were necessary for the thousands of families in need and it remained the right thing to do.
The Leader of the Council asked officers to respond to how Lambeth was building in appropriate social care needs and asked for reassurance that resident involvement would continue.
• Neil Vokes, Programme Director answered on social care needs that they were creating a Lambeth design brief with guidance and advice on social care housing for the construction of homes across the borough. This involved ongoing resident-officer engagement about specific individual needs, which was being built into the next stages of development, whilst drafting in officers to support discussion beyond housing numbers to start developing wider place-making and socio-economic strategies. All estates would have the same housing teams to build on relationships and continue the work from the last three months to create special developments.
The Leader of the Council noted her thanks to residents and to the officers and reiterated that it was important to work with people on Knight’s Walk with focus on the 18 directly affected households.
NOTE: Mr Shemi Leira, Vice Chair of Clapham Leaseholders Forum and a registered speaker for this item, attended the meeting subsequent to the closure of this item of business. The Chair advised Mr Leira to make a written submission outside of the meeting.
1. To authorise officers to progress the project on the basis of a ‘redevelopment’ scenario of the Westbury Estate, in accordance with the approach set out in Section 2 of this report and Appendix B, and to procure a development management team to progress the redevelopment of the estate as set out in paragraph 2.11 and 2.12.
2. To require officers and the procured development management team to work closely with residents in the procurement and formulation of the masterplan, including a phasing strategy and a local lettings policy for the Estate.
3. In negotiating the development agreement for the delivery of the St James s106 housing, the Council will be seeking to ensure that delivery of these new homes are consistent with the Council’s aspiration to create a high quality residential neighbourhood at Westbury. The design of the St James’ new homes will also need to recognise the objectives for the regeneration of the estate: the Masterplan Objectives, the Resident’s Brief and any design coding that is developed for the estate as part of the masterplanning process.
Report author: Neil Vokes
Publication date: 13/11/2015
Date of decision: 09/11/2015
Decided at meeting: 09/11/2015 - Cabinet
Effective from: 21/11/2015