UPDATE 24 February 2016: Good news! Our case #SaveOurLight has reached its target! We now have 1 day left to raise towards our stretch goal of £3000. Please continue to support us!
Please help us stand up to Lambeth Council
Who we are and what our case is about
We are a group of residents living in Lambeth, who are facing a terrible situation in relation to our living situation. Early one morning in 2013 we were shaken awake by the violent trembling of our homes. We were frightened! We thought there had been an earthquake or that London was being bombed again!
Shocked and confused, the brave among us came out of our houses to investigate the cause of the shaking. We saw huge machines digging 20 foot deep excavations just inches away from our garden walls. Neither the property developer - Hambridge Homes - nor Lambeth council had contacted us before taking this action which is jeopardising our homes and destroying our community life. Despite it being a legal requirement, Lambeth council steadfastly refuses to let us see plans for the buildings being constructed feet away from our homes.
We have spent nearly two years trying to find out how these buildings which in our view seriously contravene urban planning laws, human rights laws and European Laws on rights to privacy and family life were okayed Lambeth council. Now both by Lambeth Council and Hambridge Homes refuse to respond to our queries.
As a consequence of the 20-foot deep excavations, many of the houses surrounding the site now have both internal and external floor to ceiling cracks. Our legal rights have been disregarded and we fear for our quality of life.
The law is now the only way we are ever going to be able to have our rights reinstated to rectify this situation.
Who are we?
We are a community that live on Wyatt Park Road, Wavertree Road and Daysbrook Road, a horseshoe of 3 roads off Streatham Hill, SW Lambeth. We are a mixed group of residents of various racial backgrounds living in Edwardian houses. Our community ranges from young families with babies/toddlers to retired couples living in multi-generational households.
Many of us have lived in this community for over 40 years. Lambeth’s actions with Hambridge Homes threatens to completely destroy what has taken decades to build.
What is our case about?
Lambeth council gave close allies, property developers, Hambridge Homes permission to build concrete blocks at the bottom of our gardens. We are taking this case forward because they failed to notify us - close neighbours who shared land with the structures - before agreeing to the 3 storey monstrosities. If Lambeth and the developers succeed in this construction without legal consequences, they will have effectively written the rule book on how to circumvent planning laws:
- First, don’t tell residents about local developments thereby denying them their legal and statutory rights to challenge them
- Second, when residents find out refuse to give them the full structural plans so they’re unable to commission a Right to Light survey.
- Third, fail to upload current plans on to the council website and ignore letters emails and FOIs demanding the information.
- Fourth, when pressed – via FOIs and Press enquiries - supply useless out of plans that bear no relation to what’s currently being built.
- Fifth, refuse to fully respond to FOI’s as a further delaying tactic, forcing residents to report Lambeth breaches to the Information Commissioners Office. Thereby giving close allies Hambridge Homes more ‘building’ time.
The 1959 Right to Light Act states that new buildings are NOT allowed to plunge established buildings into darkness. We need to commission a Right to Light survey. Both Lambeth and Hambridge Homes have refused to let us have full structural plans for the buildings at the bottom of our gardens, blocking out our light with large windows looking full square directly into our children's bedrooms. We now have no privacy!
Borough Council and Hambridge Homes are close allies. We have felt that they have put every conceivable obstruction in our path – procrastinating, employing delaying tactics, and what seems a clear case of falsifying evidence; leaving us with no choice but to take both Lambeth and Hambridge Homes to court. We need your help to do this.
Building works have caused structural damage to the houses of Wyatt Park Road
Why should you support us?
We are regular people being denied our statutory legal rights by our local council and Hambridge Homes. If Lambeth gets away with these actions they would have set a precedent. Residents across London will lose their rights to vital life changing information about their own homes.
What are we raising for?
We have a hearing on the 29th January 2016, when we will be taking developers Hambridge Homes to court for failing to abide by numerous planning laws which include their disregard of the Party Walls Act and their failure to serve the minimum of 4 weeks notice before starting work which has caused internal and external structural damage to our homes and blocked out our light .
We need £1500 at this stage to pay for a barrister for the permission to seek a judicial review against Lambeth. Should our permission be granted, we need at least £3,000 to have our judicial review heard before a judge.
Don’t let them get away with this… If this can happen to us, it will happen to you.
About the claimant
We are a mixed group of residents of various racial backgrounds living in Edwardian houses. Our community ranges from young families with babies/toddlers to retired couples living in multi-generational households. Many of us have lived in this community for over 40 years. Lambeth’s collusion with Hambridge Homes threatens to completely destroy what has taken decades to build.
**Name of case**: Wyatt Park Residents v Lambeth Council and Hambridge Homes **What's at stake:** Our right to light, and to lawful consultation and action by our council. **Who are our lawyers?** We are using a barrister at 12 Old Square Chambers **What's the next step?** We have a hearing on 29 January.