Residents on Nunhead Estate have raised a banner in opposition to a proposed rooftop and infill project on the estate.
The development would see 45 new social rented homes built on the estate but residents say the project would be disruptive, “stressful” and unsafe.
Worries about the project’s safety arise from an ARUP report that said rooftop builds on pre-1970s blocks could cause disproportionate collapse.
The council has previously said that the ARUP report makes “blanket comments” and any potential site would be judged on a “case by case” basis.
Tenants and leaseholders also argue that the proposed infill would take away important green space, the importance of which was highlighted during the pandemic.
Since a February protest against the proposals, 92 out of 137 households have signed letters sent to the council expressing opposition to the plans, according to the tenants and residents.
Residents then received an email from the council in April saying they were “reviewing the scheme designs and the consultation process” and would update residents in May.
But a month after that May deadline, tenants and leaseholders are still anxiously waiting for news from the council.
“We’re still waiting,” said one resident. “This whole process has been hugely stressful for residents and the communication has been poor throughout. First, the idea was sprung on us in July 2020, at the height of the pandemic and now we’re being left in limbo.”
They also received a letter from the council saying “when building these new homes, we will improve the existing flats sitting underneath the new flats”.
Residents fear this means basic improvements to kitchens and bathrooms are dependent on them agreeing to the council’s proposals.
According to a council newsletter, Tiling House, Glover House, Lancefield House, Creed House and Goodwin House have all been identified as potential recipients of rooftop extensions.
One resident said: “We ask: What real tangible evidence did the council seek from developers that rooftop building on pre-70s council blocks was, in reality, safe, and likely to cause minimal disruption before they tried to roll it out to nearly a dozen estates?”
Estate resident Rafik Guendouze, 45, an electrical engineer and father-of-three said: “We feel like they’re completely ignoring these concerns.
“Nobody is against additional social housing. This is a nice place to live and we’d like to have new social housing but not to the detriment of people living here.”
Similar fears have been echoed on the nearby Southampton Way Estate, Peckham, where 32 rooftop homes could be built.
They also worry that rooftop homes are unsafe, and say that despite residents’ opposition, the council is “forcing on with their project.”
The council has been approached for comment and asked to clarify whether basic flat improvements are dependent on rooftop homes being approved.