Council meetings

Agenda item

Decisions made by Mayor and Cabinet on 27 June 2018


Deptford Southern Housing – Tidemill Update


The Housing Strategy and Partnerships Manager, Strategic Housing introduced the report. Councillor Mallory asked for clarification on Mayor and Cabinet’s decision following suggestion from the GLA to carry out a ballot of residents on the decision. The Housing Strategy and Partnerships Manager, Strategic Housing explained that by following the existing contract there would be no ballot, and to carry out a ballot at this stage in the process would entail starting the whole process again, and Mayor and Cabinet decided to go ahead with officers’ recommendations.


Councillor Mallory stated that he had been a Councillor in the Deptford area for 16 years and during that time had fought to preserve the green areas. He said that putting more people an already densely populated area with less green spaces would be intolerable.


Councillor Curran said he was aware that the original plan had been amended

a few times, and therefore it could be amended again if necessary. The

Housing Strategy and Partnerships Manager, Strategic Housing said this

would cause some problems and would cost a lot of money because of the

amount of stages in the process that would be affected. He said it could run

into millions of pounds.


Councillor Muldoon stated that he was at the Mayor and Cabinet meeting the previous week and heard the Cabinet Member for Housing explained quite articulately the reasons and advantages for the decision. Councillor Muldoon also said that he was aware that this report had been discussed at the Strategic Planning Committee at length in 2016 and 2017 thoroughly. He concluded that sufficient discussion had been done on the report.


Councillor Millbank asked for clarification around the GLA’s recommendation for a ballot, and asked whether this was current policy. The Housing Strategy and Partnerships Manager, Strategic Housing explained the reason for the GLA’S recommendation, adding that it was a policy that was to be introduced, and does not have to be implemented retrospectively.


Councillor Sorba asked for an explanation on paragraph’s 5.5 and 5.6 of the report, and was told 80% of the green space would be provided as open public spaces and 74% affordable housing, and there was a very good offer on the table for existing residents, they would not have to move away, and there was shared equity for existing leaseholders. Panel Members were told that residents would get compensatory payments, support with moving and expenses paid.


Following a question from Councillor Mallory it was noted that concerns over green space was one of the four reasons the Strategic Planning Committee had asked for a review of the report. Councillor Mallory also asked whether tenants would be offered like for like, with existing rent levels guaranteed.

The Housing Strategy and Partnerships Manager, Strategic Housing told Panel Members that Tenants would be given accommodation according to their needs and the rent for transferring tenants would be protected, but would be increased with inflation. It was noted that new tenants rates would be set by the GLA.


The Chair invited representatives from the Deptford Neighbourhood Action (DNA) to make their presentation to the Panel. Ms Andrea Hughes, Chair DNA and Ms Andrea Carey Fuller, DNA Co-ordinator highlighted the following:

·         Disposing Council green space and housing would put Lewisham at risk, Peabody should rethink their proposal.

·         Green space had been defended by planning officers for years, residents should be balloted for their position on the proposal.

·         The Council has a lot of money in reserves this should be used to uphold the wishes of voters.

·         Residents question the intellect of some of their elected Members who seem to play the homeless card to get their way, instead of housing homeless people.

·         Money should be used to bring empty buildings into use and regulate rents.

·         There is a lack of quality green space in this area.

·         Deptford Church Street is highly polluted, and residents have been left with a glorified park.

·         Lewisham’s air pollution would be unbearable by 2035.

·         30% of Lewisham residents live in Deptford alone, and residents desperately need open green space in that area.

·         The DNA promotes and extend green space in Deptford and in this time of austerity residents need somewhere to relax and breathe.

·         There is no guarantee that residents would have like for like, Mayor and Cabinet had said they would be assessed according to their needs.

·         These people have lived in this area for decades and now they are to be assessed on need, when children and grandchildren could be living in the same home.

·         Contracts could be altered and extended.


Councillor Curran asked the DNA representatives if there had been any consideration given to residents within the plan and was told there had not been any as the Council refused to discuss an alternative plan.

Councillor Wise said during her previous role as Cabinet Members for Housing she was aware that a lot of money had been spent towards green space in the area and discussions had been had with residents and action taken to improve their way of life.

Councillor Curran informed the Panel that there were several factors that needed to be considered, and although they have been told that it could be costly to go to ballot this would be the better option, and Members should trust the residents and heed the recommendation from the GLA. He added that he propose to Call in the Mayor and Cabinet’s decision. Councillor Curran sought and received advice from the Legal representative on the call in process.

Councillor Wise argued that it was unnecessary to Call in the decision, as Panel Members should focus on the housing need of the Council’s residents, she argued that the decision should stand in order to address homelessness and Peabody’s proposal would be very good for residents. She added that part of the Council’s Manifesto was to provide 1,000 new homes and this proposal was an excellent opportunity to provide affordable homes, and 80% of the green space will be available for public use.

Following a lengthy discussion Councillor Curran reiterated his proposal to Call in the decision based on the following:

i.              the loss of green space which would be contrary to the Council’s Policy, paragraph 3.2 of the report, second bullet point.

ii.            there is an alternative plan to retain green space and achieve the required housing provision.

iii.           the emerging policy to give ballot to tenants, recommended by the Mayor of London and the London assembly.

iv.           The Delegated Authority is vague, there will not be any come back to Mayor and Cabinet for ratification.

This was put to the vote:

For – 3

Against – 6



i.              the proposal for a call in did not carry.

ii.            the decision of Mayor and Cabinet be noted.


Supporting documents: