A resident’s ballot for an Achilles Street redevelopment has been given the green light, but residents raised concerns about a lack of information.

Lewisham’s cabinet has agreed a ‘landlord offer’ for residents which will need a positive vote in a ballot before the authority can knock down and build around 450 new flats on the Achilles Street Estate.

Major estate regeneration schemes involving any demolition of social homes must have the backing of residents before it can receive City Hall funding.

The final details of the developments are still to be decided, but the agreed landlord offer outlines some key principles, including improved parking, play and green space.

Half of the homes will be sold privately to help pay for the redevelopment, while a minimum of 35 per cent will be London Affordable rent, the most expensive type of social housing. The rest will be affordable. 

The 49 council tenants on the estate will be offered a new home at the same rent they are paying.

The 20 leaseholders will be paid the market value of their current home plus 10 per cent compensation, and can buy a new home on the estate.

Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Paul Bell, said: “Between 100 and 150 families that are currently homeless in Lewisham will have new, high quality, secure council houses for social rent in addition to 49 council homes already on the estate.

“All council tenants will receive a brand new council homes and their rent will not change.”

But Martin Williams, from the Achilles Street Campaign, said the landlord offer was  “essentially lacking in detail”.

He raised concerns the mix of rent levels could see existing tenants paying less than their neighbours.

“Critical information about what the development or redevelopment is going to look like isn’t even there," he said.

“What about the impact on local schools, health services, GPs and local amenities generally?”

He also asked for more information about the environmental impact, extra congestion, and impacts for residents who will spend the next “eight years living on a building site.”

Cllr Bell said he “appreciated..there are people who don’t want the scheme to go ahead.”

But the authority had to sell properties to “fund the social housing.”

“We do not have a magic money tree in this borough,” he added.

Cllr Bell said the council had to charge higher rents for new build properties, but traditional social rent was not that much cheaper than London Affordable rent.

“Our statistics, if we take a two-bed property on a new build on target traditional housing rent would be £149.74 a week. At London Affordable Rent it’s £164.24.

“Yes it is more expensive but… it doesn’t benefit from one per cent of four year reduction in council rents the Government imposed on local authorities thereby taking money out of the housing revenue account which we could use to deliver more houses and also improve estates around Lewisham.

“If you compare that to private rental sector you are looking at £231 to £340 per week.”

He said the impacts on amenities and environment would be considered later, with the development still needing to go through the planning process if residents voted for demolition and rebuild.

A planning officer told the cabinet the ballot is just “asking people is whether or not it’s the right time” to redevelop the estate.

The date for the ballot is yet to be confirmed.