A sink estate in Catford could finally be demolished now the council has bought the shopping centre on which it stands. Local residents have been campaigning for years and a recent Facebook group has increased support.
The estate, described as a ‘fortress to the outside world’ by Councillor Chris Maines, Leader of the local Liberal Democrats, could be knocked down following Lewisham Council’s purchase of the shopping centre for £11.52m.
Residents say Milford Towers in Catford, the scene of two horrific murders in recent years, is in disrepair, with broken lifts and graffiti marked walls. It also faces an continuing drug problem.
“Realistically, they have to demolish it” said Kevin Gradidge, a 47-year-old resident. “The whole place has got concrete cancer. You can see it’s crumbling.”
“By April this year this place is supposed to meet Decent Homes Standards but it doesn’t have double glazing and not all the properties have central heating”
The shopping centre was bought to speed up progress on the Catford Area Action Plan, which aims to redevelop the entire area.
Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said: “The long-term plan is to demoilish and rebuild.”
“We’re hoping over the next year to put together plans with some real urgency behind them.”
He said: “It isn’t a slum. It’s a very badly designed piece of housing which was basically never designed to be public housing.
“We just wouldn’t build something like that now.”