Help! Southwark Council is trying to compulsory purchase our homes to make way for luxury housing built by Barratt homes. The so-called affordable element comprises shared-ownership or affordable rented flats of up to 80% market rent and will be managed by Notting Hill Housing.
We have managed to fend them off for a while, but on 28th April there is going to be a four day public inquiry, where we will need to put our case before a planning inspector. We are objecting that the Compulsory Purchase Order is not in the public interest, because it’s forcing us out to make way for luxury housing that none of the existing tenants or leaseholders will be able to afford.
We have got a number of expert witnesses lined up to support our case and have managed to draft a Statement of Case and appendices, also our opening submission gives a brief overview of the public interest arguments.
Welcome to the Aylesbury Leaseholders Action Group. We are a group of leaseholders who have got together as a result of Southwark Council’s plans to compulsory purchase our homes in order to make way for the regeneration scheme.
When it took the decision to demolish our homes, the council promised that we would be offered market value, the determination of which would be “based on the average of 2 independent valuations.” (see para. 10)
But the Council reneged on this promise. Instead it has offered market value based on a valuation carried out by a council officer. The Council has rejected repeated calls – even from the Mayor – to commission independent valuations. It has also rejected requests for mediation or alternative dispute resolution services and its message to leaseholders is “if you don’t agree with our valuation you can take us to court”. Some leaseholders have done so and on each occasion the court has ruled the Council’s valuation was below market value.
We shouldn’t be forced into costly, lengthy and distressful litigation battles in order to obtain market value for our homes. Many of us have lived on the estate since it was first built and are ending up having to relocate to outer boroughs as a result.
The Council claims that it is offering rehousing assistance to leaseholders but this consists of an offer of shared ownership in one of the new-build homes.
Those who refuse the Council’s offer are left isolated in empty blocks with heating disconnected and the few who remain are simply served with compulsory purchase orders.
All we are asking is for the Council to stick to its own policy and honour its original promise of determining market value via the average of two independent valuations.
We meet on a regular basis and hold open drop-ins and general meetings. Our purpose is also to offer as much advice, help and support as we can.
Here, you can read the recent Deputation we made to the Council’s Cabinet meeting on 18th Nov 2014 outlining some of our issues.
If you would like to find out more please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Aylesbury Leaseholders Group – 4 July 2014 Press Statement Southwark News article (CPO) – 10 July 2014 Aylesbury Right to Buy tenants forced out of City – 8 Sep 2014 Mayor Backs Call for Independent Valuers – 23 January 2015