Southwark Council has called on secretary of state Sajid Javid to resolve the legal battle over the Aylesbury Estate regeneration outside of the court.
A hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday was the latest attempt by Southwark to overturn the government’s rejection of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) of eight remaining leaseholder flats.
Southwark and the government have been locked in the legal battle since September to decide the fate of the leaseholders in Phase One of the estate: Chartridge, Chiltern, Arklow and Bradenham.
Mr Javid denied permission for the CPO on the grounds that it would “contravene” leaseholders’ human rights. The leaseholders had been offered compensation of less than £300,000, and some even below £250,000, which would force them to leave the area to find new homes.
At yesterday’s oral hearing, His Honour Judge Collins gave Southwark the right to its judicial review, and challenge Mr Javid’s decision to reject the CPO.
Now, the leader of Southwark Council, councillor Peter John, has called on the Mr Javid to resolve the dispute outside of court.
Cllr John said: “I wrote to Sajid Javid last year, asking him to look again at his decision, but his response was effectively that he would see us in court.
“This week a Judge echoed our view that the decisions to date have been based in part on speculation and misunderstanding, and I would urge the secretary of state to listen to this impartial view, and meet with us to properly consider this important issue.
“His decision threatens the future of homebuilding in London and across the country, and it deserves his full attention. We can also save the taxpayer considerable sums of money if we can resolve this without involving the courts. I have written to him to request an urgent meeting.”
The four blocks in Phase One have already been emptied of 442 tenants and 33 other leaseholders. The plans for regenerating Phase One show some 800 homes will be built instead.
Mr Javid’s staff have been approached for a comment.
Judge Collins said during yesterday’s hearing that the forthcoming judicial review would be settled before the end of the legal term, which is understood to be early April.
Southwark will now have 35 days to present their full case ahead of the judicial review.
More to follow.