A 'hostile takeover' of a successful tenant-led housing association, which runs Waltham Forest's four largest estates, has moved a step closer after its entire board was "sacked" for not supporting a proposed new landlord.

Community-Based Housing Association (CBHA) has represented over 1,500 tenants across estates in Chingford Hall, Cathall Road in Leytonstone, Boundary Road in Walthamstow and Oliver Close in Leyton for 20 years as a subsidiary of the Peabody Trust, which manages 27,000 homes in London.

But the trust announced earlier this year a proposal to take on full responsibilities as landlord as part of a restructuring, that could see all three landlords (CBHA, Gallions and Peabody) merge into one and CBHA's board removed.

Campaign group 'Save the CBHA', which is made up of ex-chairs on the board of governors, is now seeking a judicial review following the removal of its board.

A Peabody spokesman confirmed they had been replaced.

He said: "CBHA is already a controlled subsidiary of the Peabody Group and the boards of both organisations have invested a lot of time and energy in these negotiations.

"However, many of CBHA’s board members were not prepared to work with Peabody to take forward this strategy.

"We have now exhausted the formal process of dispute resolution, in accordance with the procedural agreement between the group parent, Peabody, and its subsidiary, CBHA, and Peabody has appointed a new CBHA board to take forward our planned integration, including the recruitment of two new resident board members and oversight of consultation with residents about our future."

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

From left, protester's Brian Madden, Peter Westley, Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer, Debbie Griggs and Cllr Terry Wheeler at Oliver Road estate

A petition for CBHA to remain independent as a social landlord was signed by 500 tenants earlier this year.

Former chair and Leyton tenant, Debbie Griggs, who describes Peabody's plans as a "hostile takeover", said the latest move brings an end to 20 years of board representation.

She said: "We are extremely disappointed that Peabody have failed to listen to the voice of the tenants which was the fundamental part of our ethos.

"However, we are not going to accept this unjustified action by Peabody and our professional advisers are looking at our legal options, including a judicial review."

Among those to be replaced was former Waltham Forest mayor and Cathall ward councillor, Terry Wheeler, who was an independent board member for six years.

He said: "The whole board was sacked, including one person who was yet to attend their first meeting.

"Peabody wanted to re-organise the whole group, which would see CBHA as only a third of their empire and the CBHA did not see this to be in best interests of residents or Waltham Forest council who gifted the land to tenants under Waltham Forest HAT.

"The CBHA shows no signs of weaknesses and continues to outperform Peabody.

"This is an enforced takeover that will result in a loss of control of Waltham Forest assets to a self-appointing board, most of whom are composed of the 'great and good', plus a token of tenants who are barely represented on the board.

"Peabdoy needs to honour its original agreement to allow the CBHA organisation to stay as it was."

Chingford Hall resident and ex-chair Peter Westley, added: "So much for listening to residents.

"Because they rejected Peabody's vision, they were ruthlessly sacked.

"We have lost our voice as a result of Peabody riding rough-shot over residents.

In the absence of a tenant-majority board, Peabody have promised to set up a scrutiny panel and has promised several benefits, including building more homes and investing £800,000 into community programmes, all of which Mr Westley claims was possible under the CBHA.

Peabody will launch a consultation on the takeover in the autumn.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Letter sent to all CBHA tenants by Peabody's chief executive Stephen Howlett