Southwark Council’s compulsory purchase order to forcibly buy leaseholder homes on the Aylesbury Estate slated for demolition has been given approval from the secretary of state, it was announced last week.
On Wednesday, November 14, the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government confirmed the council’s planning application for a CPO on the first development site of the Walworth housing estate had been given the green light.
Councillor Johnson Situ, cabinet member for growth, development and planning, said: “We welcome the secretary of state’s decision to confirm the CPO and remain committed to delivering the quality homes and outstanding community facilities our residents deserve.
“This is a big step forward for Aylesbury regeneration plans but we also recognise this may be difficult for those involved.
“We remain committed to see the next phase of the regeneration move forward on this site.”
The decision comes after a second public inquiry into the CPO and a hard-fought campaign from leaseholders who said the compensation offered would not be enough to stay in the area.
In 2016 the government quashed the council’s application on the grounds that it would breach their human rights.
At the time, all eight remaining leaseholders’ flats had been valued at below £300,000.
Since then, the council has changed its policy after pressure from leaseholders and housing activists who branded its past approach as ‘unjust, unfair and intrusive’, with two leaseholders choosing to settle – leaving one objector from the first development site.
Cllr Situ went on to say: “In this phase there will be 842, high quality homes built, including specialist housing for older people and homes for people with learning disabilities, as well as a community facility and new public open spaces.
“Just this past week planning committee approved a revision to the scheme which will see an increased number of social housing and shared ownerships in the first phase to help give more options for tenants and resident leaseholders.
“We would now encourage all leaseholders in phases two and three of the regeneration to proactively engage with the council to enable us to work with them to buy back their homes.
“Resident leaseholders in particular should get in touch so we can support them through the range of rehousing options the council has on offer.”