‘There have been no negotiations’ says artist behind last minute Millwall CPO deferral

News Desk (25 February, 2016) Regeneration

Renewal's report did not consider the fact that Willow Winston lives in the site.

7787An artist's impression of Renewal's 'New Bermondsey' development

The News can reveal the Lewisham residents behind the decision to postpone the controversial CPO affecting Millwall’s stadium.

A legal letter to Lewisham Council  from Willow Winston, a resident at Excelsior Works in Rollins Street, and three tenants at Bolina Industrial Estate in Bolina Road, halted the proposed land seize vote at Lewisham Town Hall at the eleventh hour on February 17.

Willow, an artist who works and lives at her home, told the News: “It’s been an enormous strain this whole thing, I must tell you.

“There have been no negotiations with residents from Renewal.

“They have no concern for the nature of what they are pulling down.”

The legal letter, which was delivered to the council just minutes before its cabinet meeting last week, echoed these concerns.

It read: “In the case of [consulting with] our client, these attempts have been lacklustre at best and there have been no genuine efforts to engage our clients in any meaningful discussion.”

It added that Renewal had only recognised one person living in the CPO district, seemingly oblivious to Willow’s existence on the site.

The letter said: “This illustrates the lack of concern over the needs over the needs of individuals.”

It added concerns that Renewal, rather than build on seized land themselves, would sell on the land purely in order to make a profit.

Lewisham Council chose not to respond to the letter directly when contacted by the News, but did point to a message on their ‘New Bermondsey’ development website which reads: “After taking twelve years to buy the land, piece by piece, Renewal has no intention of selling this land.

“It will work with specialist house builders to ensure that the development is delivered according to the Master Plan and Renewal’s specification.”

 

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