Silchester Estate and Lancaster West Estate

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Saturday June 18th  – 11.00am – 18.00pm

Sunday June 19th –     11.00am – 18.00pm

Exhibition: Silchester Residents’ Rooms, Base of Frinstead House, Freston Road W10 6TZ. Entrance via MoreWest garden gate at the end of Shalfleet Drive.

Construction of Silchester Estate began in 1969, built by the Greater London Council on land made available by the slum clearances of Notting Dale. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea hold the freehold, and it is managed by the Kensington & Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation. The boundaries of the estate are formed by the Westway, the Western Cross Route and the elevated Hammersmith and City tube line.

The estate is composed of 4 x 20-storey towers and a number of low-rise buildings that range from cottages to 4-bedroom maisonettes. A number of additional infill developments have been added over the years. The beautifully landscaped Waynflete Square is the heart of the estate. The original buildings are constructed from in-situ reinforced concrete frames (in the towers) and slabs and crosswalls, with infill in a light-grey brick. This common palette unifies the diverse forms that make up the estate.

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is currently undertaking costly feasibility studies into regenerating the entire estate and surrounding area, including blocks owned by various housing associations. The current “most viable” option would see around 680 dwellings demolished, including the towers and our public green spaces, as well as the loss of sporting facilities and gardens owned by the Westway Trust.

The estate has therefore clearly been earmarked for demolition. This month the Council will decide whether to consider pursuing its demolition agenda, and Silchester residents will find out whether their homes and community are scheduled for demolition to make way for a so-called “conservation area of the future”.

Silchester has a strong established community, many of whom have lived here since the Notting Dale slum clearances in the 1960s. We love our homes and gardens and want others to see the real Silchester, not hear the Council’s narrative as they value the estate in pounds per square foot.

Local artist Constantine Gras has been working for several years with residents on both the Silchester and Lancaster West estates around issues of community and regeneration. As part of our hosting of Open Garden Estates, there will be an exhibition of his work alongside tours of the estate and a community picnic.

Constantine Gras was the first V&A artist in residence to be based outside the museum with a studio on Silchester during 2014-15. For Open Garden Estates he will be presenting the community art work produced during his residency and including more recent work about housing and regeneration. This includes a programme of short films, drawings, architectural models and ceramic art made with children and adults at both Silchester and Lancaster West Estates. Constantine will be creating a large scale drawing and sculptural art work from 14.00 – 16.00 across both days. Please drop by to participate.

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Weblinks. www.silchesterestate.org.uk

                   http://www.grasart.com/

                   https://www.facebook.com/silchesterestate/

                   @lovesilchester

Petition: https://www.change.org/p/kensignton-and-chelsea-council-stop-demolishing-our-homes-and-forcing-us-out

If you are an estate wanting to participate, please get in touch with us at info@opengardenestates.com

Old Tidemill and Crossfields Estate

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Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden is a collaboratively run community space in Deptford. Local residents manage and maintain this unique and mature green space that it is free and open to all. The community rediscovered the garden after the old school closed down and it is now shared as a “common resource”. Despite the sites uncertain future due to its proposed development, the community want to ensure it is saved and enjoyed as a public space for the people of Deptford, now and in the future.

Family Mosaic and Sherry Green Homes want to demolish social housing, replace the informal creative hub of Old Tidemill School and build over the entire Wildlife Garden, a unique and mature haven, for people and wildlife alike in Deptford. Replacing it with 210 dwellings, 176 of which are for private rental with a small communal grass lawn and sanitized play spaces. This development will not benefit the local community and will remove a vital green space in an area of local deficiency.

We want the appointed developers to go back to the drawing board and change their plans in line with what the community really needs, which is access to quality public open space and affordable housing that reflects real living wages. To do this we must convince the council planning department to reconsider the developers proposals and instead, take on board the communities views.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-old-tidemill-wildlife-garden

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CAMPAIGN POSTER

Cressingham Gardens

 

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Cressingham Gardens residents are opening their estate to visitors on Saturday, 18 June, with gardens open from 10am to 5pm, and walking tours of the estate at 11am and 3pm.

In addition, on Friday, 17 June, the estate is holding a screening of Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s award-winning film, Estate: A Reverie, to raise funds for their continuing struggle to save their homes from Lambeth Labour Council.

For information on the ongoing Cressingham Gardens Campaign see Save Cressingham Gardens

If you are an estate wanting to participate, please get in touch with us at info@opengardenestates.com

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Somers Town Estates

 

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Oakshott Court – light and low rise estate walk

 
Somers Town, between Euston and King’s Cross stations, has an amazingly rich mix of social housing from the 1920s onwards. An afternoon walk, led by Camden Tour Guide Fabian Watkinson, will explore this intricate neighbourhood, focussing on Oakshott Court, a low-rise high-density development built in 1972-76 during the golden age of Camden’s Architect’s Department and completed by James Gowan.

For information on Somers Town, please see: Somerstown Plan

 

More information forthcoming. If you are an estate wanting to participate, please get in touch with us at info@opengardenestates.com

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Macintosh Court

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269 Leigham Court Road in Streatham is purpose built sheltered housing, with 45 flats that are currently home to 50 residents, all over the age of 60, all on secure tenancies. Despite being designed by architect Kate Macintosh specifically to house elderly people, a duty it has performed since 1975, in January 2013 Lambeth Council suddenly declared the estate ‘unfit for purpose’, told residents that it was too expensive to do the repairs and maintenance they had neglected for years, and declared the site was to be ‘sold as cleared land.’

Lambeth Council wants to break the community up, evict residents and send them to elderly people’s homes across Lambeth. In preparation for which, the onsite sheltered housing officer has been withdrawn, causing one resident we met to have to wait 5 hours for paramedics to turn up following a fall. And the estate gardeners have neglected and sabotaged the gardens, leading to the erosion of the topsoil in places, the needless tearing up of a blackberry bush without consulting residents, and the death of the tree in the central square.

However, following residents’ campaigning, in May 2015 the estate was given Grade II listing by Historic England. In response, Lambeth Council have said they will announce their final plans for the estate in the middle of June 2016, with the target date for its closure set at 2018.

Residents of 269 Leigham Court Road have signed up to Open Garden Estates, and we are planning to invite architects, journalists, gardeners and supporters of their campaign to visit the estate that weekend. As a symbol of what residents hope will be its new beginning, a new tree in the central square is to be planted by Kate Macintosh, and the estate will be renamed Macintosh Court. We’re also hoping to do some guerilla gardening and repair the damage done by Lambeth Council’s vandals. A garage sale of residents’ bric-a-brac is planned to raise funds for the campaign to save the Macintosh Court community, and we’re also planning to run a crowd funding campaign.

There is no talk, even from the lying tongues of Lambeth Council, about building new homes for the existing residents. Whether they work around the listing to gut the old homes and turn them into luxury flats, or whether they demolish them and build new upmarket private homes in their place, this is a land grab, pure and simple, for this much sort-after corner of Lambeth. It reveals not only the ruthlessness of Lambeth Council and what it will do to get its hands on the land our homes are built on, but also the truth behind the so-called regeneration programme it is pursuing on estates across the borough.

We know how vulnerable elderly residents are to the mental and physical stresses of eviction and relocation, not to mention the years of threats and dirty tactics used by councils to terrorise and degrade communities before demolishing their homes. Lambeth Council’s plans for Macintosh Court are nothing less than an attack on the security, dignity, well-being and even the lives of its 50 residents. As they move through the autumn years of their lives surrounded by the trees and wildlife of this beautiful estate, they deserve more than this violent and disgusting treatment by this corrupt council of jackals and social cleansers. We must not let this happen.

Please get involved and fight to save the Macintosh Court community!

Guardian Article on Leigham Court

Save Leigham Court blog

Granville Estate

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PUBLICLY OWNED GREEN SPACE ON COUNCIL-OWNED ESATE IN CHILD’S HILL UNDER THREAT FROM DEVELOPER’S PLAN TO BUILD 132 PRIVATE HOUSES ON IT!       

The Granville Estate in Childs Hill (a 60s garden-style housing estate on a couple of acres – more than 9000sq m – of green space) is under threat from a developer’s plan to build 132 new homes on its grounds, and use much of the current public green space for private gardens for these houses, none of which are earmarked for social housing. Thanks to energetic campaigning by local residents (with an unprecedented 500-strong petition against the proposal) and the efforts of local councillors, the developers’ application was refused by Barnet’s planning committee nearly a year ago (March 2015) but the developers have now appealed. As a result, a public inquiry is to be held 28th June.

Barnet Council’s planning committee turned the application down (against their officers’ recommendation in favour) because a) it provides no social housing at a time when this is desperately needed for less well-off working people in London and b) it takes away more than 60 per cent of the publicly owned green space to provide private gardens for expensive houses, while the existing social housing tenants (and local Childs Hill residents) lose almost all of the green space close to their homes.

Two local residents groups, GERA (representing the estate) and CLAN, (representing the surrounding roads in Childs Hill), are fighting the developers’ appeal in the hope of gaining a better outcome both for the existing Granville Estate residents and the wider community of Childs Hill.

To mount a successful objection to the forthcoming appeal, they need both legal help and the support of everyone who wants to see inappropriate commercial development of this kind halted. With this intention, they will be campaigning to raise funds on Crowd Justice (www.crowdjustice.co.uk) from Monday, February 22nd.

If you feel strongly that publicly owned green space should remain in the public realm (rather than being given away for commercial profit) make people aware of the campaign and help support the David of local needs over the Goliath of profiteering property development.

For more information or to help with the campaign:

contact (GERA) email granvilleresidentsx@gmail.com or CLAN) email berrycopub@gmail.com