A fresh public inquiry into the council’s plans to force a group of leaseholders off the Aylesbury Estate has begun.
There are just four leaseholders left on ‘phase one’ of the Walworth estate, who stand in the way of the council’s plans to demolish and redevelop the site.
They have refused to budge, turning down offers for compensation in return for their homes, saying that it would not be enough money to stay in the area.
Sajid Javid, then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, initially wanted to block the compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the remaining leaseholders’ properties.
However, in a blow to residents, the decisio was quashed in April last year, paving the way for the council to hold a fresh CPO inquiry.
The new inquiry began on Tuesday, January 9, at Southwark Council’s Tooley Street offices. The inquiry, led by government planning inspector Martin Whitehead, is estimated to last until January 31.
The scope of the inquiry is to request a CPO on the remaining leaseholder properties on the first development site.
Councillor Mark Williams, Southwark’s cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “We have now reached voluntary agreement with 562 of the households on the first development site who have now moved, and are continuing to engage with the remaining four leaseholders.
“However, to ensure delivery of the new homes, we need the CPO in case we don’t reach voluntary agreement with the remaining leaseholders.
“We are pleased to have been given a second opportunity to put forward our case at a new CPO hearing. We look forward to the final decision and in the meantime we will continue to work with the leaseholders so that they can remain in the area if they want to.”