Lambeth Council are considering plans to close Queenswood Court and sell the land to developers. The sale could generate about £40,000 for the Council. The elderly residents face removal, and so instead they want the Council to invest a small amount towards improving and keeping the building instead of knocking it down.
One local resident who has lived at Queenswood Court for 18 years organised a petition which has been signed by 343 people. She said “I don’t want to move. We have a doctors around the corner, as well as Christ Church that I attend… why should I move at my age?” Another resident who owns a pet was offered alternative accommodation which did not allow pets. She said “Moving would be catastrophic. We’re members of this community and this prospect is dreadful.”
The residents handed their petition to Conservative Councillor for Thurlow Park Clare Whelan who represents nearby Thurlow Park ward because the Gipsy Hill Labour Councillors were unsupportive. When refusing to help, one Labour Councillor told residents that the decision was a fait accompli, even though that is officially not the case.
Member of the Gipsy Hill Conservative Action Team Ali Kayikkiran said, “These are people’s homes. I don’t feel the Council has properly consulted across Lambeth for both those living in sheltered housing or those in the area affected. The failure of Gipsy Hill Labour Councillors to inform residents of policy developments and to offer help is shameful. None of the Labour Councillors live in Gipsy Hill and I question their commitment to local residents. Gipsy Hill Conservatives are determined to raise the profile of this matter and to seek a re-think.”