From Elephant Amenity Network
Consultation on the Mayor’s Guide for Estate Regeneration is due to close on March 14 and a cross London campaign has begun to defend estates facing regeneration – Demolition Watch ; this is the website .
At the moment there is one major demand being put to the Mayor – that there must be a ballot of estate residents, to approve any regeneration proposals.
A ballot is an elementary protection of estate resident’s interests and the very least that should be required before any regeneration goes ahead. You can help secure estate ballots by doing two things;
1/by signing this petition;
2/by submitting a question to our GLA representative, Florence Eshalomi, to be put to the Mayor at his public question time. There is a model question below and it can be sent to Florence.Eshalomi@london.gov.uk, asking her to submit it for his question time.
There is little doubt that more and more estates are being lined up for regeneration and we must get effective protection of estate residents in place, so please help.
1) Resident Support
The Mayor has said regeneration should “only take place where there is resident support”. Official Guidance on Estate Regeneration (published December 2016) says that, where the proposals include demolition of tenants and leaseholders’ homes, a vote can be ‘appropriate’ to demonstrate the required ‘majority resident support’.
Does the Mayor agree that;
- There should be a ballot where it is proposed that residents homes be demolished and,
- GLA funding and planning approval support would not be made available for any schemes involving demolition without such a ballot?
Victory for Aylesbury Leaseholders
Sep 18, 2016 12:00 am
Government blocks compulsory purchase order –
Leaseholders on the Aylesbury estate have won a great victory in defence of their homes, after the Government refused Southwark Council’s application to compulsory purchase their properties.
The judgement is a humiliating blow to the Council, who are found to have not taken reasonable steps to negotiate with the leaseholders and to have not made a “compelling” enough case for the Aylesbury regeneration scheme’s merits.
The Government therefore refused to override the leaseholders’ interests and interfere with their human rights by forcing them to sell their homes. The decision was taken by the Secretary of State for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Sajid Javid.
Eleven leaseholders objected to the CPO and gruelling hearings before the DCLG inspector were heard in April, May and October 2015. The leaseholders live in the Bradenham, Chartridge, Arklow and Chiltern blocks – the ‘First Development Site’ (FDS), which was granted planning permission in April 2015. Over 200 leaseholders have been decanted to make way for the scheme to date, only 3 of whom have been rehoused on the Aylesbury. There are around 300 leaseholders remaining on the rest of the estate.
CPO Public Inquiry – Council lawyers(left), Inspector Coffey(centre), Aylesbury leaseholders(right)
In his damning decision, the Secretary of State has said that Southwark has not fulfilled its Public Sector Equality Duty. He points out the majority of the estate (67%) are from black or ethnic minority backgrounds and it is ‘highly likely that there is a potential disproportionate impact on the .. these groups .. who are .. likely to have to move out of the area if the Order is confirmed.’ He goes on to point out the disruption caused to residents’ social and cultural life by the regeneration scheme. The Secretary of State was particularly concerned about ‘uprooting’ children ‘at a vulnerable stage in their development’ and the detrimental impact this would have on their education and future employment prospects.
In the Secretary of State’s judgement, the rehousing options offered to leaseholders would either impoverish them by requiring them to spend all their savings, or leave the area altogether in search of cheaper housing elsewhere. The inspector’s report has this to say about elderly leaseholders in particular: ‘Many of the leaseholders are of an age where they would be unable to obtain a mortgage to make up any shortfall and their future earning potential is limited. The requirement to use their savings and other investments severely limits their ability to choose how they spend their retirement and the use to which they put their savings and investments.’ (Para. 372)
The future must change
While the Secretary of State accepted that the regeneration scheme was viable, Southwark’s development partner, Notting Hill Housing Trust (NHHT) plainly had concerns about the costs even before the CPO decision was issued and has made a whole series of financial demands, which are to be agreed at a Cabinet meeting this coming Tuesday. NHHT is said in the Cabinet report to need more payments from Southwark because of the delay in the CPO decision. However, the Cabinet report was drafted before the Secretary of State’s CPO decision, so the possibility of NHHT coming back for more is real. In the meantime, the payments NHHT is demanding include;
In total the Council is now forecast to spend £52.5m over the next three years on the Aylesbury redevelopment scheme1.
Notting Hill Housing’s commitment to the scheme is also plainly a concern. The report goes on to say that ‘if the scheme has not proceeded in accordance with the DPA (Development Partnership Agreement)’ then ‘at that point all design work will pass to the council enabling the council to market the site’2 – in plain language: if Notting Hill drops out then Southwark takes over and looks for another developer.
The CPO decision is a serious indictment of Southwark’s conduct since the start of the scheme in 1997. It confirms what leaseholders on the estate have always known – Southwark wants to remove them as cheaply as possible and has little concern for how it damages them personally or where they go. This bad treatment goes beyond leaseholders; it takes in the majority of residents on the estate who come from black and ethnic minority backgrounds and whose interests have not been protected as they should have been. On top of this, Southwark’s development partner NHHT is clearly getting cold feet. All in all, the flaws in the regeneration scheme are opening up and Southwark Council should take the opportunity now to consider its whole future.
1. Draft Old Kent Road Area Action Plan
Further to our email sent to your on the 4 July about our public consultation on the four documents listed above, we are now writing to let you know that the consultation period has been extended to Friday 4 November 2016. All comments should be received by 5pm on this date.
The draft AAP, the proposed changes to the adopted policies map, the preliminary draft charging schedule, the draft SPD addendum, the revised “Regulation 123 List” plan and supporting documents can be viewed at the locations listed below. They are also available to view on our website: http://www.southwark.gov.uk/oldkentroadaap
List of locations where documents are available for inspection:
You can comment on the documents by:
Other ways to get involved
We are holding and attending events throughout the consultation period. The next Old Kent Road Community Forum events will be held on:
• Wednesday 14 September 2016 at New Covenant Church, 506-510 Old Kent Rd, London SE1 5BA
We will also be holding an Old Kent Road Young People’s Workshop on Wednesday 7 September from 4.30pm to 7pm at New Covenant Church, 506-510 Old Kent Rd, London SE1 5BA.
Please keep up to date by visiting our website to find out about events. If you would like us to attend your local group meeting please contact the planning policy team using our contact details above