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Video: Two sides to Excalibur estate housing fight
THERE are two sides to every story.
Earlier this month News Shopper reported on the future of the Excalibur estate in Catford and spoke to people fighting to stop their 1940s pre-fabricated homes from being flattened.
But since then another group of residents have contacted us saying they would rather see the 185 houses, built by German PoWs, destroyed and replaced with new modern homes.
They say their current homes are not fit to live in, and would rather see the whole estate knocked down and start from scratch with a new £175m building project.
Kay Sim, aged 63, has lived in Mordred Road for 21 years and says her home is dangerously cold.
She said: "We used to love these homes and wanted to live in them - but it is time to move on. Fifty years ago they were fine - but not now.
"When I come downstairs in the morning it is quite often around 14 degrees centigrade - that's close to hypothermia temperature.
"They are falling down around us - they are just not fit to live in. My home costs a fortune to heat. My last gas bill was around £320 for the quarter."
She added: "It used to be a brilliant estate. You couldn't have asked for nicer neighbours. But it's just lost it now. If someone fell down in the street - people would just walk past."
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is currently considering protecting the estate by making it Grade II Listed.
But many residents, like Bryan Steed who has lived on the estate in Ector Road for 28 years, would rather get a brand new home.
The 74-year-old who lives with his wife, Sheila, 72, said: "Damp is a problem.
"Sometimes you can open your wardrobe and find a green algae on clothes which are nearest the outside wall.
"These houses can be so cold. The walls are only two-and-a-half inches thick and it's just an asbestos cement sheet.
"The insulation value is zero. In the mornings you can guarantee that all of the windows will be covered in condensation.
"All of the energy just disappears straight out of the building."
The retired fireman added: "In the past we have fought Lewisham Council over plans to tear-down the estate.
"But the difference this time is that we have negotiated a good deal to take us into the 21st century - new homes with good insulation."
Lewisham Councils owns more 156 of the homes while 29 of them have been bought by residents on a freehold basis.
The council wants to redevelop the site saying it would be too expensive to bring the houses up to Decent Homes Standard - a Government benchmark for quality of housing.
For more Catford news visit newsshopper.co.uk/news/lewgreennews/