A two-thirds majority of residents say they are now in favour of demolishing and rebuilding all four towers on the Ledbury Estate.
Southwark Council published the results of its survey in a newsletter to residents on Friday, November 6. The full regeneration gained backing from 61 per cent.
In 2018 we reported how residents and the council had worked together on the future of the blocks, finally reaching an agreement on refurbishment.
But last year it emerged that the costs were likely to spiral, casting doubt on the feasibility of the project’s £8m per block budget.
The latest decision, based on information from more extensive surveys, included four scenarios: strengthening the four towers; strengthening the four towers and building between 87 and 130 new homes; a mix of strengthening one or more of the towers and the demolition of the others and replacing them with new homes; and demolishing the four towers and replacing them with new homes.
In the vote, 79% of those households still living in the towers took part, while turnout for all those eligible – including those who have relocated but have a right of return – was at 47 per cent.
There are several possible routes for the full tower demolition and rebuild. All include the same number of social housing, or an increase.
One option could see the existing towers replaced with a low rise block on the site of Bromyard House with the other three towers replaced with low rise homes by Camelot School and an eighteen-storey tower on the Old Kent Road with a central courtyard garden.
An alternative plan would replace the towers with a low rise block on the site of Bromyard House; and the other three towers with low rise homes by Camelot School, rising to a 20-storey Tower on the Old Kent Road with a street layout.
In the most similar to the current set up, a third way could replace the four fourteen-storey towers with eighteen storey towers, keeping current open space around the blocks.
Many displaced Ledbury Estate residents were moved into the nearby new-build Sylvan Grove but, as we reported last week, the two-year-old block has had problems of its own.
The building, built by Hyde Housing and now in sole ownership of Southwark Council, has been afflicted with damp and mould problems, and leaks.
One mum’s flat suffered months of mouldy flooring and crumbling skirting boards in her son’s bedroom. Since featuring in this paper the tenant, Robyn West, has told us remedial works are now underway. Meanwhile, the News has been told of another badly affected property.
What is unclear is whether Southwark Council is picking up the bill for repairs or whether the issues are linked to the original construction. A request for information on whether the taxpayer will be picking up the tab has not yet received a reply from Southwark Council.