Bomore Road/Walmer Road Flats
Below is our correspondence with RBKC regarding the new flats in Bomore Road.
8th Mar 2019
We the Lancaster West Residents' Association Committee would like to make a formal representation that the Bomore Road/Walmer Road block of flats should be included in the Local Lettings Policy and managed by the Lancaster West Neighbourhood Team. All units should be let at social rent with lifetime tenancies.
First refusal should go to former residents of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk who have not yet moved into permanent homes and wish to return to the estate.
This motion was passed unanimously by our new LWRA Committee.
We were promised a model for social housing in the 21st century. Now the first opportunity to give us something that is 21st century is being taken away from us. To hand these properties over to the Hub is surely to reward failure as this is still an organisation tarred by being the old KCTMO.
There are 32 units which stand on estate land which has already been diminished by the construction of KAA and the rebuild of the Leisure Centre, and we were promised additional homes for this sacrifice at the time; they should be integral to Lanc West and our recovery from the Grenfell tragedy.
A possible compromise might be that Allom, Barlow and Notting Wood could be included in the initial lettings, given they are opposite. But no decision should be made by the Council until local residents havebeen consulted.
8th Mar 2019
Thank you for your note and I will review your comments with others before responding in detail
In the meantime, we did consider including Bomore Road in the Local Policy but given the number of other homes that are already included, we excluded the building to enable access to those residents with priority need and without a home who are on the waiting list
9th Mar 2019
A game of musical chairs: We (humbly?) suggest that your argument is a false one. The net effect will be entirely neutral. For every flat that goes on the local lettings policy another flat will be freed up to get people off the housing list. Our arguments for getting the already local residents properly housed, whether from those in temporary housing and those who are overcrowded remains, we feel a compelling one, particularly given the stresses to which Notting Dale residents have been subjected in the last nearly two years. And this is not to mention the earlier neglect which I know you accept as unarguable under the old KCTMO regime. Lancaster West remember has lost 150 units of housing as a result of the tragedy.
Estate land: We repeat that the land on which these flats are part came from the Lancaster West estate which lost some considerable amenities as a result of the building of KAA and the Leisure Centre, and then lost 150 units of housing in a national tragedy. Even before the fire the estate was promised benefits from housing development
Joined-up management: Also under no circumstances should the Bomore Road flats be managed by anyone else than the Lancaster West Neighbourhood Team. We are working in partnership with this new team and progress is finally being made. Any trust that might be developing is fragile and to take away housing on our estate would be rubbing salt in the wound
The bottom line is that all we are asking is for first refusal for a grieving and traumatised estate.
3rd April 2019
Dear Kim and Elizabeth,
Thank you for meeting with us last week when you promised to keep an open mind on the lettings strategy for Bomore Road.
Since then, the alarming interim results from Professor Stec have yet again shaken the estate. We feel that this is yet another setback to our fragile recovery.
As the image from the Guardian shows, all of the Walkways, Treadgold, Verity Close and Bramley were in the radius where toxic soil and debris samples were taken. The same cannot be said for our friends on the World’s End Estate, or elsewhere, however long they have waited on the waiting list.
You’ll note the Bomore Road development is just outside of the toxic radius (in green). In this sense it could provide respite to residents in housing need who wish to stay in the area, but not live in the potentially toxic shadow of Grenfell.
Therefore this is not just about housing waiting lists, but about people having had to live - and continue to live - with potentially toxic soil and debris all around us, and the considerable anxiety that this is causing us.
We appreciate that the Bomore Road need to take into consideration the problems of mobility access but there are plenty of people on the Lancaster West who have mobility problems. Again we ask that they should have precedence.
As such we do ask that as much of Bomore Road as possible is let with a first refusal through the Local Lettings Plan to Lancaster West and Bramley House. As the Council recognises the emotional distress that this has all caused us even if the scientific and health implications are not likely to be clear for many months, or even years.