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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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

Coronavirus – Meetings of Tenant and Resident Associations

Dear Chair,

In light of the rapidly changing situation with coronavirus, this is to inform you that Tenant Council, Homeowner Council, Area Housing Forums and Southwark Tenant Management Organisation Committee (STMOC) will be suspended until further notice. In addition, we very strongly advise that tenant and resident associations (TRAs) suspend meetings until further notice. We have taken this decision in order to minimise the potential risk to our older and vulnerable residents. We will let you know when we are in a position to organise meetings in the future, and when we consider it safe for tenant and resident associations to resume meeting.

The council is reviewing upcoming scheduled meetings and events to consider whether they should go ahead and we will keep residents informed. Please continue to follow public health advice to reduce the spread of the virus, which is to wash your hands often with soap and water, and stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms. You can find more information on the council’s dedicated coronavirus webpage dedicated coronavirus webpage and on the government website.

Stephen Douglass

Director of Communities

Elephant Activism Week

Dear Friend

It’s Elephant Activism Week!

We’re calling on all supporters to join us this week for a bout of activism!

1 Doorstep Delancey!  Developer Delancey will be updating the Southwark Empowering Communities North West Area Forum on the Elephant and Castle shopping centre redevelopment this Thursday.

6:30pm-7:15pm Thursday 12 March, Outside Amigo Hall, St George’s Cathedral, Lambeth Road, SE1 7HY (intersection with St George’s Road).
FB Event here

This is a rare opportunity to DOORSTEP DELANCEY! We are demanding that the shopping centre is not closed, until all the traders are properly relocated (many still have nowhere to go) or suitably compensated.

We will be doing a photo opp and leafleting outside Amigo Hall as people go into the meeting, which starts at 7pm. More details are on the Southwark Council and SE1 Community websites.

2 Love the Elephant Film Night: “Why do Elephants keep developing?” 

Join us at 55East for an evening of solidarity to raise funds for the shopping centre Judicial Review Appeal. Emile Scott Burgoyne’s updated documentary, Why Do Elephants Keep Developing? exposes the dodgy deals and offshore billionaire backers behind the Elephant and Castle regeneration. The film showcases our many local heroes; our protests, parties, celebrations, victories and defeats.

6pm-9pm Friday 13 March, 55East, 53-63 East St SE17 2DJ 
Tickets from Eventbrite here (donations)
FB Event here

3 Share and donate! We have raised a fantastic £2,375 in our new Judicial Review Appeal, in just six days! Please help us push on to our £3,000 target by sharing and donating – any amount big or small!

Regards
Jerry

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International Women’s Day, March 8th 2020

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

#IWD2020 #EachforEqual

IML-IWD2020-Event

Southwark Homeowners Conference Spring 2020 – Saturday 7th March 2020

Homeowner Council

Southwark Homeowner Conference – Spring 2020

The conference will be held on Saturday 7th March 2020 between 9am to 5pm at the William Booth College, Champion Park, Denmark Hill, Camberwell, SE5 8BQ.

This Homeowner Conference, organised by Leaseholders for Leaseholders, will be discussing housing and leasehold issues. Leaseholders and freeholders who live in Southwark Council managed properties will have a chance to find out about Southwark Housing matters, changing legislation, service charges and Section 20 Major Works.

It will provide an opportunity to hear from various independent organisations about Homeowner rights and responsibilities, as well as available services and support.

Council officers will be on hand to answer your questions and help you understand how bills are calculated. There will be presentations from the council and independent professionals and an opportunity to ask questions that are relevant to you. The Conference is chaired by Martin Boyd, from the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.

Confirmed guest speakers include:

  • Cllr Kieron Williams – Cabinet Member for Housing Management & Modernisation
  • Michael Scorer – Director of Housing & Modernisation
  • MP Helen Hayes – MP for Dulwich and West Norwood
  • Amanda Gourlay – Barrister
  • Mari Knowles – Solicitor
  • Katie Kendrick and Cath Williams – National Leasehold Campaign
  • Sebastian O’Kelly – Leasehold Knowledge Partnership

The conference features a market place with information stalls. Exhibitors include:

  • Homeowner Council (Volunteer homeowners)
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (Free, Confidential, Independent & Impartial Advice)
  • Leasehold Knowledge Partnership (Charity Protecting Ordinary Leaseholders)
  • LAS2000 (Leaseholders Association of Southwark 2000)
  • Leasehold Advisory Service (Govt Funded Advisory Service)
  • Service Charge Construction & Major Works Team (Southwark Council)
  • Communal District Heating Team (Southwark Council)
  • Communities Division (Southwark Council)
  • My Southwark Homeowner Agency (Southwark Council)

Register for a free place

Or copy and paste the following link into your browser: https://southwarkhomeowners.co.uk/conference-registration/

If you have any questions, phone the council’s Resident Involvement team on 020 7525 1239 or email resident.involvement@southwark.gov.uk

Cllr Kieron Williams – Cabinet Member for Housing Management and Modernisation