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The Guardian: "What the Southwark Aylesbury estate Compulsory Purchase Order ruling means for the future of regeneration"

"Sajid Javid's refusal to allow the compulsory purchase of flats by Southwark council adds some welcome humanity to a savage process that forces people not just from their homes, but from their communities. But is the decision enough?"

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"According to Jasmin Parsons, a leaseholder at the West Hendon estate in Barnet, some leaseholders were offered just £90,000 for a one-bed flat and £130,000 for a two-bed maisonette when the council applied for the first in a series of compulsory purchase orders.

"This offer was later increased after the leaseholders employed a surveyor to act on their behalf, but still fell far short of the amount required to buy an equivalent home.

"... Last week, however, the picture changed dramatically, when Sajid Javid, the secretary of state for communities and local government, refused to allow the compulsory purchase of flats on the latest phase of the Aylesbury estate's redevelopment, citing concerns about the way Southwark council was dealing with leaseholders.

"The decision does not end the government’s support for the controversial policy of 'estate regeneration', and will bring little comfort for those who have gone through the financial brutality it often creates, but it may give some protection to those facing eviction in the future."

Architects for Social Housing: "Financial Compensation for Human Rights: The Aylesbury Estate"

"A lot has been written already about Friday's decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, to accept the Government Inspector’s recommendation not to confirm Southwark Labour Council's Compulsory Purchase Order on the homes of leaseholders on the First Development Site of the Aylesbury Estate regeneration. But in the understandable excitement at this rare victory, not all of it has been accurate.

"... the power of leaseholders over their homes has been greatly increased, which definitely makes this decision a victory for those fighting the demolition of their homes. But we should be clear about exactly what that victory is based on, which is the property rights of leaseholders, not what some of us mistakenly understand by human rights. If nothing else, the increased compensation leaseholders can demand might make developers and housing associations like Notting Hill Housing think twice about getting councils to issue Compulsory Purchase Orders.

"But potentially the most useful part of this document is the long section on Public Sector Equality Duty (paragraphs 23-33). Here the considerations of the Secretary of State this duty gives rise to are only sited in the context of the leaseholders who made their objections to his Department; but there is an argument to be made that the negative effects of being moved away from community support networks are just as applicable to tenants, and that simply re-housing them elsewhere doesn’t mitigate those effects.

"This is, perhaps, where the real victory lies in this decision by the Secretary of State: not in the property rights of leaseholders, but in the potential for articulating the human rights of all residents whose homes are threatened by estate demolition schemes."

2016-09 Southwark CPO Decision_Letter_Final by scribdstorage on Scribd

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