Montreal Square – No Permission for Demolition

Some of the homes in Montreal Square, Romsey

Montreal Square is a well established community of 18 homes, owned by Cambridge Housing Society (CHS).  Some of the tenants have lived there for 40 years.  The homes are all let at social rent and are located in Romsey Town, Cambridge.


CHS wants to demolish and replace these homes with higher density new build housing gainst the wishes of residents.  Some of the new houses will be for social rent, but more will be “shared ownership” and “affordable” (= unaffordable) rented.

So why are CHS so intent on this change, when in 2010 they said this:

The Cambridge Housing Society promise in 2010: “redevelopment will not now be a priority”

Steve Watson provides an explanation here of the factors driving this behaviour.  He notes that changes made in 2015 by the Tory government have…

…meant that Housing Associations have greater exposure to risk and are vulnerable to changes in the housing markets. In effect Housing Associations must be more hard-nosed in their decision making and pay less attention to the needs of the communities they serve. This is certainly evident with Cambridge Housing Society where they have refused the Montreal Square community a ballot on the future of their community…. CHS say that the community’s views are not the only thing that must be taken into account and that is certainly consistent with the commercial and market focus that Housing Associations must now commit to.

So CHS increasingly regard people’s homes as capital assets to be exploited to the maximum extent possible.  This is an attack on people’s lives and homes due simply to their social class.  No one is proposing to build affordable or social rented homes in back gardens in Newnham!

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