Contentious plans to demolish a block used as temporary accommodation for homeless people and replace it with affordable housing will go before a Lambeth planning committee next week (October 13). 

The proposals, from the council’s housing company Homes for Lambeth, include knocking down the four-storey Truslove House in Gipsy Hill and building a part five, part seven-storey block. 

The new build would be made up of 31 affordable flats – 22 for social rent and nine for shared ownership.  

Locals have objected to the plans, along with amenity societies, who have urged the council to repair the building, rather than replace it.  

The planning applications has received 253 objections and eight comments of support.  

A petition has also been launched objecting to the plans. 


Wandsworth Times:

Truslove House, on the corner of Roman Rise, is a seven-bedroom hostel on the Central Hill Estate, which is earmarked for demolition.  

The council is planning to move residents from the estate into the proposed new block when it begins redeveloping the site. 

“It has been demonstrated that there are significant regeneration and community benefits that could not be achieved in any other way – specifically that the residents of the Central Hill Estate would be able to relocate to the proposal reducing the displacement of current resident across the wider borough with minimal disturbance.  

“There is no other available site locally able to achieve this,” according to the planning document.  

A condition of the plans for Truslove House is that the council provides the equivalent temporary accommodation elsewhere in the borough.  

Wandsworth Times:

The proposals

The Twentieth Century Society objected as it is against the demolition of the Central Hill Estate and would prefer it to be “retained and refurbished”.  

“In our view there would be both heritage and sustainability benefits to retaining and refurbishing Central Hill, and we wish to see a holistic approach taken to planning the estate’s future.  

“Such an approach would include peripheral sites such as Truslove House being used to accommodate demand for increased housing density and additional facilities.  

“Although the proposed new residential units are to be used for decanting residents from Central Hill, there is no information about how this development will fit into the estate in the long term. 

“In their assessment of the Central Hill Estate for listing, Historic England noted that they considered it to hold local interest,” it said.  

Responding, an officer said “it is ultimately the council’s decision as to whether the estate is worthy of local designation”.  

“The proposed block is very ordinary and is not considered to be of sufficient interest to warrant inclusion on the local heritage list either for its architectural or historic interest,” they said.  

The Norwood Society objected to the proposals on the same grounds and said one element of the estate “should not be considered in isolation”.  

“This proposal is of a large bulky building up to seven storeys high totally out of keeping with the surrounding area and it would particularly dominate the two-storey houses on the other side of Roman Rise,” it said.  

Amenity society Docomomo also objected to the plans, calling them a “gross overdevelopment” of the site.  

The majority of nearby residents objected to the plans. They said they would like the building “repaired not replaced”, and the plans “would push people on lower incomes out”. 

Planning officers said the building is “dated and doesn’t meet modern standards”, adding that “among the households moving in will be those who will move from Central Hill Estate into the new homes” and “these are all affordable homes”.