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  • CarolineShah

It's now or never - Help residents find the whole truth about The Cambridge Road Estate

This is our last chance to help Cambridge Road Estate residents find out if there are grounds to challenge Kingston Council's decision to demolish the estate and rebuild it at three times density. You can read more residents' comments below

Kingston Council was found on 1 April 2022 by the First Tier Tribunal to have carried out an act or omission for failing to release to a concerned resident documents relating to their proposals to demolish The Cambridge Road Estate

The Tribunal has said that the act or omission amounts to a contempt of court and has certified the offence to the High Court to decide the appropriate punishment for Kingston Council

The Tribunal understood the importance of this act or omission of Kingston Council in that it undermined the ability of Cambridge Road Estate residents to “make informed decisions about whether to support or oppose” plans to demolish their homes in the ballot held by the council

Roll forward to 2021

The Planning Committee of the Council approved plans submitted by a joint venture company consisting of the council and Countryside Properties for the regeneration of the Cambridge Road Estate on 21 December 2021 as most people were preparing for Christmas

Only three months later, on 24 March 2022, The Corporate and Resources Committee of Kingston Council – this time in its role as joint venture partner and applicant to demolish and rebuild The Cambridge Road Estate – having been told by council officers that Phase One of the development is already "commercially unviable" - voted to remove all 15 affordable housing units from Phase One of the redevelopment that the Planning Committee had approved on 21 December 2021

This decision has not been presented to Planning Committee yet for approval, so - if you like- one arm of the council is sort of acting behind the other arm's back. The Planning Committee still thinks that 15 affordable units will be delivered as part of Phase One of the redevelopment and will need at some point in the future to approve their removal but the joint venture hasn't told them of its wicked plans as yet

These changes were presented in obscure language to an even obscurer committee of Kingston Council in attempts to bamboozle residents and sneak changes in under our very noses

But the truth is being exposed and we have a short window of time in which to show Kingston Council that we are serious about standing up for our own and each other's rights

I requested that Kingston Council send me all public responses to the planning application to demolish and rebuild The Cambridge Road Estate

They have sent me only some.

The vast majority of people objected to the council's plans

One estate resident told the council:

Another estate resident told the council this:

By putting people into blocks of flats that have internal front doors you take away a neighbourhood feeling, especially for anyone that is unable to leave their house on a regular basis. During the height of the pandemic when you were unable to meet with family and friends people were still able to communicate with neighbours by standing in gardens and on balconies, this was a major factor for people that have to deal with mental health issues which we know all know rose higher through the lockdown.”

And here are comments made by some of the other "neighbours" and "public" who objected to the plans:

You can view the responses I received here and you can read a summary showing all the FOR and AGAINST comments by respondee here

Donate now to help pay for the Opinion of Jenny Wigley QC about whether Kingston Council’s decision to demolish the homes on the Cambridge Road Estate was legally sound

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