The Cressingham Gardens Judicial Review

Following the publication of the Judicial Review Cllr Matthew Bennett, the Cabinet member with responsibility for housing, has written to residents of Cressingham Gardens. 

 

A copy of the letters is below.

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Re: The Cressingham Gardens Judicial Review

As you may know, a Cressingham Gardens resident recently took the Council to court over its decision to regenerate the estate. They did this through a process known as a ‘Judicial Review'.

This letter is an initial assessment to let you know what has happened with the Judicial Review and what this means for the future of the estate. However, there is a lot of information for us to consider in the judgement, so we will give more details at a future date.

What is a Judicial Review?

A Judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a Judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. In other words, a judicial review is a challenge to the way in which a decision has been made, rather than the rights and wrongs of the decision itself.

What has happened?

Yesterday (the 24th November) Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing published her verdict on the case. The Judge found that the Council's decision to stop consulting on refurbishment options (known as Options 1, 2 and 3) in March this year was unlawful.

The Council had explained that Options 1, 2 and 3 were withdrawn after it became clear that they were unaffordable. The reasons which the Judge gave for her decision was that the Council had not given enough evidence to prove that the affordability for the refurbishment options had changed since the start of the consultation.

We are disappointed at this decision, but will carefully consider the judge’s decision and do whatever is required of us to comply with her ruling.

What will happen now?

Lambeth has already drawn up proposals to address the issues highlighted by Mrs Justice Laing, and give residents the opportunity to express their views on the options for improving Cressingham Gardens.

As a result of the judgement, a new report will be taken to Cabinet, covering all five of the options put forward. In the process of preparing that report, residents will be able to give their opinion on each option, including on its affordability.

This process will start immediately, as the council recognises that all residents will need to have certainty about the future of their homes as soon as possible. The council will also be holding more meetings with residents in order to discuss the best way of securing lasting improvements for Cressingham Gardens.

However, it must be stressed that the estate has the same challenges as before. We have said throughout this process that the cost of bringing all homes on the estate up to the Lambeth Housing Standard would be in all likelihood be extremely expensive, and these works would be unlikely to be enough to resolve the design flaws of the properties.

Do you have a question?

If you have a question about this letter, then please get in touch with a member of the Estate Regeneration team - see below:

W: estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk/cressingham

E: cressinghamgardens@lambeth.gov.uk

T: 020 7926 2452 / 020 7926 3607

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Matthew Bennett

Cabinet Member for Housing

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If you have any questions about what this means for you and the future of the estate please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Alternatively you could can come and see me at one of my regular drop in sessions - see:

estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk/cressingham_drop_in_20151203

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