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London regeneration Compulsory Purchase Order blocked by Javid

Published: Thursday, 22nd September 2016

Communities Secretary refuses to approve the Compulsory Purchase Order proposed by Southwark Council required for the regeneration of the Aylesbury area…

The rehousing of thousands of residents of south London’s Aylesbury Estate is now in doubt after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid refused to approve the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) proposed by Southwark Council and required for the controversial regeneration scheme in the Elephant and Castle area of the capital.

Javid’s stance was in line with the recommendation of the planning inspector who held the public inquiry into the CPO. The council has said it will challenge Javid’s decision in court.

Southwark had applied for an order to buy out leaseholders on the first phase of the redevelopment and allow work to start on the regeneration of south London’s Aylesbury Estate.

However, the Secretary of State’s decision letter said “the proposed purpose of the order will have considerable economic and social dis-benefits in terms of consequences for those leaseholders remaining on the order land”.

Javid agreed with the inspector that this would be in breach of human rights and would disproportionately affect black and ethnic minority residents.

The estate in Walworth had been set to be bulldozed, and thousands of flats and houses built in their place by Southwark and Notting Hill Housing Trust over the next 18 years at a cost of £750m.

Half of the new homes will be “affordable” and 75 per cent of those will be available at council rents. The remaining properties will be available for shared ownership.

Mark Williams, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is an extremely disappointing decision. “We are committed to the regeneration proposals and will continue to negotiate with leaseholders on all phases of the regeneration programme, to buy back their properties and allow the work, which is supported by the vast majority of residents on the estate, to move forward as soon as possible.”

Read the decision letter.

Roger Milne