Mott MacDonald: don't get involved in the demolition of Cressingham Gardens
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We are asking Mott MacDonald, an employee-owned company, to remove themselves from the Cressingham Gardens regeneration project led by Lambeth council. Mott MacDonald takes pride in their ethics and we believe that Lambeth’s proposed regeneration of Cressingham Gardens goes against their ethics policy - both in spirit and letter.
As written in Mott MacDonald's ethics policy:
"We [Mott MacDonald] seek to be good corporate citizens, to provide local employment and to contribute to the well-being of communities where we work.”
This project will not contribute to the well-being of the Cressingham Gardens community. Surveys show that the clear majority of residents do NOT want their community and homes demolished. It is a very supportive community that has a very high proportion of households that have a vulnerable family member (at least 40%) and is extremely diverse (65% BME). The demolition of the community will destroy the support networks and many families will be forced to leave the area as they will simply not be able to afford the new housing. It will also have devastating impacts on residents. Here is one such example (“Mary’s story”):
To come back, residents are being expected to give up legal rights and to pay more (e.g. tenants have to give up their secure tenancy and accept an assured tenancy with higher rents; existing homeowners are expected to find approx £200k extra cash to remain homeowners otherwise they have to become tenants in shared ownership or rental arrangements). Even the council's own Equalities Impact Assessment states that the majority of the new homes will only be affordable to those on higher incomes or with capital assets. The median household income in the area is a mere £29k pa before tax, but the council wants to charge market rent of £39k pa for a 4 bed apartment.
Residents have taken the council to the High Court twice to hold it to account for financial manipulations. The hearings revealed facts that should be of grave concern to any organisation wishing to partner with the council to redevelop the estate.
Cressingham Gardens is worth saving, not demolishing. Historic England strong suggested giving Cressingham Gardens conservation area status for its local architectural importance, but Lambeth council have refused to even consider the recommendation. Cressingham Gardens is also supported by Save Britain’s Heritage.
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