Aylesbury’s ‘Alcatraz’ fence cost council £140k

Admin (02 April, 2015) Housing

Southwark defends expense of putting half-empty blocks of flats on lockdown

1053Leaseholders said they felt like 'caged animals' after the fences were erected last month

It has cost the council £140,000 to put up the fences and locked gates around parts of the half-deserted Aylesbury Estate, which penned-in residents now refer to as ‘Alcatraz’.

Last week Southwark Council confirmed to the News it was “reviewing security arrangements” on the Walworth Estate after leaseholders and tenants complained they were not being allowed in to gates near their homes by over-zealous security guards..

Southwark’s cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Mark Williams, has defended the high barbed fences despite the expense revealed by a freedom of information request, saying they are necessary for the safety of the remaining residents.

“With only 18 of 560 properties now being lived in, it is vital that we secure the first development site at the Aylesbury,” he said. “This is for the safety of both remaining residents and for people who would otherwise walk through this largely empty area.

“Securing this site is the right thing to do, we understand this has caused some problems for the remaining residents and we will review whether any changes to access points is possible.”

Squatters who had been occupying some of the flats in Chiltern block in protest at the proposed demolition of the estate were evicted on Friday.

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