35% Campaign update – Council to remove remaining shopping centre traders using CPO powers

Council to remove remaining shopping centre traders using CPO powers

Mar 23, 2020 12:00 am

Council to approve compulsory purchase of shopping centre traders and buy LCC/shopping centre sites -In an extraordinary move Southwark Council is poised to ‘buy’ both the Elephant and Castle shopping centre and the London College of Communication from current owners, developer Delancey and the University of the Arts London (UAL). It is also excercising Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) powers over the shopping centre site, on behalf of Delancey’s British Virgin Islands registered offshore subsidiary1.

The CPO powers are needed because Delancey has failed to reach agreement with 11 of the remaining shopping centre traders who have secure tenancies and several other so-called third-party ‘interests’ including land owned by Transport for London and arches owned by Network Rail/Arches company. 2

The additional purchase of the shopping centre and LCC land is part of a legal manoeuvre, vesting ownership in a public body, that will override the rights of residents in surrounding homes whose daylight will be affected by the redevelopment of the two sites. A leasing arrangement will allow both sites to return to Delancey and UAL once the CPO process is complete. 3

Southwark say that both measures will ultimately result in no cost being incurred to itself (except for officer time plus a proportion of any public inquiry costs) with Delancey indemnifying all other costs, but no figures are provided in the three publicly available reports detailing the purchase arrangements and the indemnity agreement has not been made public. Decisions on both measures will be made at a video-call Cabinet meeting tomorrow – Tuesday, 24 March.

Will the scheme ever happen?

The main justification for the proposed measures is to ensure the success of the development. Council officers advise that if they are not adopted Delancey may meet delays and will not secure the ‘enormous funding’ the scheme requires and then the site could lie empty for years.

Despite this concern, officers are nonetheless so personally convinced that the development will ‘likely’ go ahead, that they are not requiring a guarantee from Delancey that it will proceed with the scheme after Southwark has cleared the site with its CPO powers. The CPO report says ‘it is not necessary to impose… an obligation to build the Scheme as the measures negotiated for inclusion in the indemnity agreement give the Council comfort that EC is likely to proceed with the Scheme.’ 4

The contrast between Southwark’s favourable treatment of Delancey, (a property developer rooted in offshore shell companies) and the neglectful manner it has treated traders who have made the Elephant their home is also laid bare. Under CPO legislation Southwark is required ‘to exercise its power…in a manner which, so far as practicable, secures that relevant occupiers of that land are provided with a suitable opportunity to obtain accommodation on the land in question.’ 5

This hasn’t happened; such relocation benefits as there are (eg the £634,700 relocation fund, the £200k New Home Bonus Fund) have been won by the traders and local campaigners and owe little to Southwark Council’s efforts. Even with these gains, 60 traders still have no new premises and those who do will be re-housed off-site, with only some (those in Castle Square) having the smallest possibility of ‘accommodation on the land in question’. Just last week the BBC ran a feature on the plight of the remaining traders.

Southwark has always had the power

By Southwark’s own account the scheme may well not go forward unless it exercises CPO powers, because Delancey is unwilling to bear the risk of the uncertainty created by its absence, given its ‘enormous capital investment in the Scheme’ and in addition ‘any prudent funder of the Scheme is also unlikely to fund the Scheme whilst that uncertainty persists’6

Southwark therefore has had a great deal of legitimate leverage. It was clear when Delancey first submitted its planning application for the shopping centre’s redevelopment back in 2016, that there was little intention of retaining resident traders in the new redevelopment. When Delancey described the traders as ‘benefiting from disproportionately low levels of rent’ and unlikely ‘to survive….over the longer term’7 Southwark should have made it clear then that any anticipated use of CPO powers would be dependent on fulfilling the requirement that ‘relevant occupiers’ ie the traders be given the opportunity to stay in the new development.

As it is, it looks as if Southwark intends to sacrifice trader’s interests, again, in favour of Delancey, just as it sacrificed those who depend on social rented housing, when it granted Delancey planning permission, without securing the minimum amount required by its own policies.

The coronavirus risk

Southwark’s attempts to indemnify itself against any mishaps in its CPO arrangements with Delancey includes, amongst other things, a requirement that there be a ‘reasonable prospect of the development of that area being delivered in a reasonable time frame’ 8.

Any sensible person, or local authority, must now see that this is unlikely, given the coronavirus crisis and it multi-dimensional impact. Southwark should at the very least defer consideration of exercising CPO powers and the purchase of the shopping centre and the LCC sites, on any terms. At the same time, Southwark should use its resources to maintain and improve support for the traders and insist that Delancey do the same, if it wishes to have the benefit of Southwark’s CPO powers at some time in the future.

Footnotes:

  1. According to Southwark, Delancey is not the developer, but rather the advisor to the so-called ‘Triangle Partnership’, which is a partnership between the Dutch pension fund APG; Qatari Diar and Door SLP (a joint venture involving Delancey’s DV4 offshore property fund). There are further partnerships within this Triangle, detailed in the Report: E&C CPO para 12. Southwark refer to the developer as Elephant & Castle Properties Co. Limited (“EC”) registered offshore in the BVI. We continue to refer to the developer by the commonly known name of ‘Delancey’. 
  2. See paras. 80, 59 Report: E&C CPO 
  3. See paras. 1,2 & 12 Report: E&C Property Rights 
  4. See para 76 Report: E&C CPO 
  5. See para 81 Report: E&C CPO 
  6. See para 57 Report: E&C CPO 
  7. See 8.7 Planning Statement 
  8. See para 74 Report: E&C CPO 

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COVID-19: stay at home and stay safe

Cllr Peter John OBE

Please stay at home

Every one of our residents is important to us. You are important to us. But many residents are ignoring national advice and going out when we should all be staying at home as much as we can. This puts us all at risk of COVID-19, especially people who are over 70 or who suffer from ill-health.

We know this is a worrying time, especially if you live alone, and we really want to help. There are lots of volunteers in our communities who want to help too. So instead of going out, please think about other ways to do things. For example:

  • Call or video call a friend
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to leave some shopping outside your door
  • Order an online shop if you can
  • When you are shopping please only buy what you need

Find support or advice by visiting www.southwark.gov.uk/covidsupport

If you are sharing information with a resident who is not online, and they need support, they should call 020 7525 5000. Our phone lines are extremely busy so please only call us if you aren’t able to get the help you need online.


Stay well

  • The best way to avoid catching COVID-19 is to wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue and wash your hands or use an alcohol-based sanitiser gel.
  • Keep your distance from other people – at least 2 metres wherever possible
  • If you have a new persistent cough or a high temperature, you must self-isolate (stay home and away from other people) for 7 days. If someone in your home has symptoms you should self-isolate for 14 days.

And remember, if you are very unwell or have symptoms that last longer than 7 days visit www.111.nhs.uk, call NHS on 111, or your local GP.

GovDelivery logo

Coronavirus – Advice and Information to TRAs

Dear TRA members

We hope this finds you well and safe. We have been contacted by many of you asking for advice on how you can best support your local community and with other queries about the impact of the current situation on TRAs. It is great to see local communities coming together to help those in need and we thought it would be helpful to send the below FAQ to give some reassurance that the council will do all it can to support TRAs at this difficult time.

How can TRAs best support their residents?

The council values and appreciates the willingness of TRA members wishing to help their neighbours. TRA committees wishing to coordinate support activity must ensure they don’t bring people together in meetings face-to-face. Please be mindful of the government’s advice on social distancing and hold such meetings virtually via chat groups or video calling.

  • If you feel at all unwell, do not volunteer
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before and after you deliver any items
  • Try to support people who live close to you so you don’t travel longer distances
  • If you make a delivery, stay 2 meters away from the person who is in isolation at all times. Place the items outside their door and then step away
  • Be careful about how you share personal information about yourself and other people
  • Be careful about taking money and how many people may be more vulnerable to fraud at this time

We are aware that self isolation will present different issues for different people and it is important that people get the right help and support to get them through this difficult time as quickly as safely as possible. Please refer anyone you come across with the following issues, to the relevant support services

  • Financial hardship and help with benefit applications, call020 7525 2434
  • Concerns aboutRent payments
  • Serious health issues – residents should be advised to contact NHS 111 or their local GP
  • Support for those who are homeless. If you are aware of anyone sleeping rough please let the council know viaStreetlink. Our council funded outreach team will visit people where they are and find them a safe place

Can we continue to utilise our TRA hall facilities?

Given that many of those using TRA halls can be vulnerable or older we are advising all TRAs to close down their TRA halls and cancel existing bookings in order to follow government’s latest advice on social distancing and minimising non essential contact.

The council may contact TRA halls key holders if the space is required by the council or its partners in order to deliver services locally. Please ensure you let Ian Brinley know the up to date details of all key holders by calling him on 07943721674. If you are already planning to use your TRA hall for support activities such as to distribute food and / or donations for vulnerable residents please speak to Ian Brinley first and let us know what you are doing. This is to ensure a coordinated response and safety and welfare of volunteers. It is important that if you are doing this that you follow the advice that is elsewhere in this message on social distancing, making deliveries safely, not sharing personal data and avoidance of cash handling.

There should not be face to face meetings in these spaces, this should be done using group chats and conference calling instead. Please provide any social contact for those in need by phone and not face to face.

The council will be setting up web pages in the next few days on food provision and we will be sharing this information with TRAs once set up.

How will the TRA apply for this year’s grant if we are unable to hold our AGM?

The council will contact TRAs which were due to have their AGM during this period to ensure they can still apply for and receive their core annual grant.

Will there be special fast tracked grant funding for TRAs to help those in need?

We welcome proposals from TRAs about what support they can provide those in need.

We are worried about the TRA’s loss of income if we cancel our bookings. How will the council help?

The council will look at measures such as rent payment holidays and grants available to those TRAs in financial difficulties due to coronavirus related loss of income

Advice on potential corona-virus related scams.

We have heard reports from the Police that individuals may be taking advantage of the vulnerable by posing as door-to-door Coronavirus testers in order to gain access to people’s properties. Nobody, and specifically neither the NHS nor the Police, are conducting such tests. If anyone attends your property and claims to be conducting such tests please call the Police on 999. Unfortunately, there are some people who will try to cash in on people’s vulnerability at a time when they may be distracted by concerns regarding the coronavirus.

It is worth taking time to make sure you are protecting yourself and your family from those hoping to take advantage of this situation. Fraudsters may well exploit this unprecedented situation to prey on others. They may try to target those assisting vulnerable people or those in self-isolation, sending coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing personal and financial details, or even coming to people’s houses to try and target them in person.

The advice around fraud and cyber-crime has not changed because of this virus. The most important thing to remember is if you are contacted by someone you don’t know, either in person or online exercise caution and if something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. If you can’t be sure, check with someone you trust, or the Police.

If someone knocks at your door claiming to be from a company or organisation, first check their ID. If you’re not happy, don’t let them in. Ask the person to wait outside, shut the door and contact the organisation by using a trusted method. If they’re genuine, they’ll understand. The Met has a range of advice on how to protect yourself from fraud, which can be found here:

https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/

Kind regards.

Larri Alleyne,
Community Premises Assistant.
Communities Division

Housing & Modernisation Department.

(020 7525 5475 / 07535541327 |Larri.Alleyne@southwark.gov.uk

5th Floor, Hub 3, Area D
PO Box 64529
London SE1P 5LX

www.southwark.gov.uk

Coronavirus advice for tenants and residents associations

It’s great to see local communities coming together to help those in need. Southwark has a large network of volunteers in Tenants & Residents Associations across the borough who work to make their homes and communities great places to live. The council has the following advice for Tenants & Residents Associations wanting to help at this difficult time.

How can TRAs best support their residents?

The council values and appreciates the willingness of TRA members to help their neighbours. TRA committees wanting to coordinate support activity must ensure they don’t bring people together in meetings face-to-face. Please be mindful of the government’s advice on social distancing and hold such meetings virtually via chat groups or video calling if this is available.

  • if you feel at all unwell, do not volunteer
  • wash your hands regularly, especially before and after you deliver any items
  • try to support people who live close to you so you don’t travel longer distances
  • if you make a delivery, stay 2 metres away from the person who is in isolation at all times. Place the items outside their door and then step away
  • be careful about how you share personal information about yourself and other people
  • be careful about taking money and how many people may be more vulnerable to fraud at this time

We are aware that self isolation will present different issues for different people and it is important that people get the right help and support to get them through this difficult time as quickly and safely as possible. Please refer anyone you come across with the following issues, to the relevant support services:

  • financial hardship and help with benefit applications, call 020 7525 2434
  • concerns about Rent payments
  • serious health issues – residents should be advised to contact NHS 111 or their local GP
  • support for those who are homeless. If you are aware of anyone sleeping rough please let the council know via Streetlink. Our council funded outreach team will visit people where they are and find them a safe place

Can we continue to utilise our TRA hall facilities?

Given that many of those using TRA halls can be vulnerable or older we are advising all TRAs to close down their TRA halls and cancel existing bookings in order to follow government’s latest advice on social distancing and minimising non essential contact.

The council may contact TRA halls key holders if the space is required by the council or its partners in order to deliver services locally.  If you are already planning to use the TRA hall for support activities such as to distribute food and / or donations for vulnerable residents they should let the council know in advance.  This is to ensure a coordinated response and safety and welfare of volunteers

There should not be face to face meetings in these spaces, this should be done using group chats and conference calling instead. Please provide any social contact for those in need by phone and not face to face.

How will the TRA apply for this year’s grant if we are unable to hold our AGM?

The council will contact TRAs that were due to have their AGM during this period to ensure they can still apply for and receive their core annual grant.

We are worried about the TRA’s loss of income if we cancel our bookings. How will the council help?

The council will look at measures such as rent payment holidays and grants available to those TRAs in financial difficulties due to coronavirus related loss of income.

COVID19 Briefing Note – Crime Prevention Advice

BRIEFING NOTE

COVID19 – 2 – 19/03/2020

Dear all,

Advice on potential corona-virus related scams.

We have heard reports that individuals may be taking advantage of the vulnerable by posing as door-to-door Coronavirus testers in order to gain access to people’s properties.

Nobody, and specifically neither the NHS nor the Police, are conducting such tests. If anyone attends your property and claims to be conducting such tests please call the Police on 999.

Unfortunately, there are some people who will try to cash in on people’s vulnerability at a time when they may be distracted by concerns regarding the coronavirus.

It is worth taking time to make sure you are protecting yourself and your family from those hoping to take advantage of this situation.

Fraudsters may well exploit this unprecedented situation to prey on others. They may try to target those assisting vulnerable people or those in self-isolation, sending coronavirus-themed phishing emails in an attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing personal and financial details, or even coming to people’s houses to try and target them in person.

The advice around fraud and cyber-crime has not changed because of this virus. The most important thing to remember is if you are contacted by someone you don’t know, either in person or online exercise caution and if something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. If you can’t be sure, check with someone you trust, or the Police.

If someone knocks at your door claiming to be from a company or organisation, first check their ID. If you’re not happy, don’t let them in. Ask the person to wait outside, shut the door and contact the organisation by using a trusted method. If they’re genuine, they’ll understand.

The Met has a range of advice on how to protect yourself from fraud, which can be found here:-

https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/.

Please do contact my staff office or me if you have any questions or wish to discuss any further aspect of this incident with me.

Regards,

Colin Wingrove

Chief Superintendent

BCU Commander – Central South

IN AN EMERGENCY, ALWAYS CALL 999

Visit Our Website @

https://www.met.police.uk/your-area/southwark/chaucer/

Covid-19: A message from the Leader of Southwark Council

Cllr Peter John OBE

Coronavirus (Covid-19): an update for residents

These are unprecedented and concerning times for Southwark and the wider world, and I would like to reassure you that the council is working hard to protect residents, staff and services from the impact of Covid-19. I have agreed to stay in post as Leader of Southwark Council beyond my planned departure date of 25 March to offer stability and continuity, ensure our plans to respond to the crisis are robust and working, and that our communities are safe.

We are taking every step to prepare for an increase in confirmed cases of the virus. At the moment most key council services are still running as normal. We have strong and tested plans in place to keep delivering services during this difficult period and we will ensure our most vulnerable residents keep getting the support they need. To support this we may stop doing some non-essential work to support frontline services and redeploy staff as necessary.

We will continue to provide up-to-date information about our services and the support available through all our communications channels.

Thank you for your ongoing support through this challenging time.


Health advice

We’re asking all residents to follow the national guidance on self-isolation and social distancing. This includes not going out to the pub, the theatre, or to other social activities. You should stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital and please don’t call 111 unless you have to.

If you are unwell, the people who live with you will also need to stay home.


Financial support for residents

We will continue to do whatever we can to assist our residents where they experience additional hardship. While we await details from central government on how they intend to release to councils the money announced in last week’s budget, we are taking action locally to provide some protection to those in our communities who are most in need. We will be supplementing our Southwark emergency support scheme (SESS) budget of £650k per year with an additional emergency fund of £1.5m.


Council meetings

We are currently reviewing our approach to council meetings. Following recent advice about social distancing, only meetings that are essential for business or statutory reasons will go ahead. The main reasons for cancelling or postponing events are:

  • Exclusion of vulnerable groups who may be self-isolating or social distancing
  • Impact on staff who need to focus on Covid-19 response

CHAUCER WARD PANEL MEETING – CANCELLED!!

Hello Chaucer Ward,

Due to the guidance about gatherings which are no longer supported by government. The MET has now given the advice to cancel our Ward events in the interest of personal and public safety regarding the coronavirus.

We will keep you updated with further information and when the next available date will be set for the Panel Meeting.

If you have any issues regarding ASB around the ward please call 101 or 999 at the time of the incident happening. You can email us regarding on going issues so that we can patrol the problem areas.

Leaving News!!!! I will be leaving Chaucer SNT on 5th April 2020 this will be my last day. I am moving to Bishops SNT on Lambeth. I will miss not being able to say a personal goodbye but want to say that I have enjoyed working with and serving the residents who live on the ward for the last 7 years. Nigel and Richard will keep the ward patrolled and do their best to help with the issues that arise.

Keep well

Regards

PC Sarah Lock

Chaucer Safer Neighbourhood Team

PC Sarah LOCK, PC Nigel QUINN & PCSO Richard SMITH

Southwark Police Station, 323 Borough High Street, LONDON, SE1 1JL

Tel 0208 721 2441

E-Mail CHAUCER.SNT@MET.POLICE.UK

Ward Promises:

1) ALBERT BARNES HS, SMEATON COURT & ROCKINGHAM ST FLATS – ASB/DRUGS/ROUGH SLEEPERS

2) BECKET HOUSE – ASB DRUGS/ROUGH SLEEPERS

Follow us on Twitter @MPSChaucer or on Nextdoor App

Also see our webpage on www.met.police.uk

IN AN EMERGENCY, ALWAYS CALL 999