Kill the Housing Bill national demo
12 noon, Sunday 13 March
Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London WC2A 3TL
Stop Destroying Council Homes!
Stop the Housing and Planning Bill!
Southwark Council has been demolishing council homes at an astonishing rate at the same time as promising to build 11,000 new council homes over 30 years- and it has only recently pulled back from the threat to build the new homes on existing estates which will be “redeveloped”. But the “redevelopment” of the Aylesbury estate has not been dropped and will involve a huge loss of council homes and any new socially rented homes will all be housing association homes. There will be no new council homes on the new, gentrified Aylesbury.
More than 1,500 have signed our petition against this programme of social cleansing, and Aylesbury tenants and leaseholders are demanding that the Council refurbishes their council homes instead of demolishing them. They voted in 2001 by 73% on a 76% turnout against transfer to a housing association. Yet the Council has ignored their vote and is going ahead with its plans. The “regeneration” of the Aylesbury has cost £46.8 million so far – that money could have been spent on refurbishment instead of kicking people out of their homes. Join us to demand the Council reverses its plans.
Resist the Housing and Planning Bill!
Many local Councils have criticised the Tories’ Housing and Planning Bill because it forces councils to sell off council homes on the open market, introduces means testing for council homes and destroys councils’ ability to require developers to build social rented housing. An amendment to the Bill may even end all lifetime secure tenancies for new tenants.
We demand that:
Southwark Council joins with other councils in opposing the bill and its implementation by all possible means.
*No to selling off “high value” council homes, no to paying the levy
* No to collecting data on working tenants’ incomes and forcing them onto market rents
*Keep granting permanent affordable and secure tenancies!
The Housing and Planning Bill will destroy social housing – together we can stop it!
Refurbishment, not demolition for the Aylesbury!
Dean Porter stood in the Faraday Ward by-election on Thursday 21st January 2016
Labour retained their contested Council seat on Faraday ward – but big thanks to Dean for making a stand
AYLESBURY RESIDENT TO STAND IN BY-ELECTION
Candidate Dean Porter spent five years on the streets before he raised enough money to support himself
See the campaign blog here – http://votedeanporter.tumblr.com/
Great news from another Council Estate under threat, Cressingham Gardens in Lambeth! Residents are celebrating a victory against their local authority landlord after a judge quashed its unlawful decision to demolish up to 300 homes at the High Court.
Report in South London Press – Council “acted unlawfully” over Cressingham Gardens consultation.
Here is a link to a report on day 1 of the October proceedings of the CPO inquiry “Criminal, is it not?” http://t.co/YEjaXm6T6y
and we now have confirmation how high the “target”/”social”/”affordable” rents will be on the new development…
Notting Hill Comes Clean on Rents
The rents that Aylesbury tenants will have to pay to stay on their newly developed estate have finally been revealed by Notting Hill Housing Trust – and they are shocking. A one bed flat on the first development site will cost £157 per week inclusive of service charges, compared to a current inclusive council rent of about £105 per week. A new 2-bed flat will be £166pw, against current council rents on the Aylesbury of £124pw for a 2-bed inclusive of service charges, heating & hot water.
Read more here
Aylesbury CPO Public Inquiry
the Aylesbury estate Compulsory Purchase Order reconvened on 13th and 14th October 10.00-17.00 in Arry’s Bar at Millwall Football Ground, Zampa Road, London SE16 3LN. We are awaiting the planning inspector’s recommendation to the Secretary of State, who will then authorise or block the compulsory purchase orders, with a decision likely in four to five months.
If nothing else, the 35percent campaign, who blog about new developments meeting Southwark’s quota of social housing, claimed a victory during the hearing as their evidence resulted in a tight definition of what constitutes social rent being written into the legal agreement for the development.
BUT that still allows rents on the new development, with service charges, to be in the region of £50/£60 PER WEEK more expensive than current Council rents on the existing Estate. (Read more here: http://35percent.org/blog/2015/10/12/notting-hill-comes-clean/)
Read more about the CPO inquiry here: http://www.southwarknews.co.uk/news/public-inquiry-into-buy-out-of-aylesbury-council-flats-resumes/
Residents already successfully won two adjournments in May and returned with full legal representation to restate and elaborate several of the points from their Statement of Case.
You can read reports of previous months CPO proceedures and some of the supporting documents by browsing these pages:
The issue of affordability on the Aylesbury is absolutely key. This will be determined by the “viability assessment”
And it was a “viability assessment” what did for the provision of genuinely affordable housing on the Heygate.
After three years of appeals by Southwark Council and its development partner Lend Lease, Adrian Glasspool has finally received the viability assessment for the Heygate outline masterplan in response to his May 2012 FOI/EIR request. Read here how
*25% profit was used as the viability benchmark, rather than the 20% Lend Lease had agreed contractually with Southwark in its Partnership Agreement
*residential sales prices were grossly underestimated
*the District Valuers recommendation that there should be a ‘review mechanism’ was ignored
Read here how Southwark Councillors responded to the Guardian article that publicised this information, but also how newly elected MP Neil Coyle’s 1st parliamentary question was about making viability studies for planning applications more transparent and open.
Aylesbury CPO Public Inquiry
A date has been set for the Aylesbury CPO Inquiry to resume. The Inquiry will reconvene on Tuesday October 13th back at the Den. This time the objectors have instructed counsel and will be represented at the hearing by a barrister from Landmark Chambers.
The inspector decided extra time was needed for the CPO Inquiry back in May 2015 (click for report from 35% Campaign). Concerns include the fact that on a number of other developments in Southwark, Notting Hill switched the wording on tenures from “social rented” to the more expensive “affordable” after being given planning permission, in the final legal agreement. This seemingly small change has huge consequences for what rents will be charged, e.g. a 1-bed social rented flat in Bermondsey(SE16) costs an average £97 per week, compared to £273 per week for affordable rented flat at 80% market rent. The Public Inquiry into the Aylesbury redevelopment resumed on Tuesday May 12th. Read an overview of the first leg of proceedings here and here (1st day 28.4.15), here (30.4.15) and here (1.5.15)
April 2015 – Lots happening this month (as detailed in “March News”)
We now have an online petition – follow the link here
There is a four-day Public Inquiry into the Aylesbury redevelopment, open to the public and held at the Millwall Football Club Conference Centre from Tues 28th to Fri 1st (10am-5pm). For an idea of what will be debated at the Inquiry, this copy of the Objectors’ Opening Submission sets out their arguments very clearly.
It’s Not Too Late Aylesbury Estate:
What Happened and What Next – We like this article, a really good round up of the events of the past 2 months, following on from the Aylesbury Occupation (an article from Southwark Notes, re-published on their site by the Occupiers) (It’s not over)
Southwark responded to the Occupation with a £140,000 fence, and 24hour security. The fence went up, came down, and is now up again. Watch this TV news report on Southwark Council’s barbed wire fences here. And the video of the fences coming down here. And the Occupiers reflection on all this here.
Have you a legal background? Help is needed for the 4 day public inquiry at the end of the month (Tuesday 28.4.15) into the Compulsory Purchase Order. We are objecting that the Compulsory Purchase Order is not in the public interest, because it’s forcing us out to make way for luxury housing that none of the existing tenants or leaseholders will be able to afford.
Despite ongoing concerns about NHHT’s record on providing genuine affordability, the Aylesbury planning application was passed by Southwark’s planning committee on 23rd April, with one abstention. Read reports on the meeting here and here.
March 2015 – It’s still the Chartridge Occupation, isn’t it, expanded into Chiltern offices, and now the flats above.
And it’s Southwark Council’s response – barbed wire fences and security guards. To quote from this eloquent article here on Southwark Notes “ Unable to find any more money for elderly leaseholders whose Council’s low valuations of their homes will force them out of the area, there is however a bottomless pit of money for fences and 24 hour security. The bill must be £1000’s per day.”
Notting Hill’s Housing Association and Southwark have practiced sleight of hand on Bermondsey Spa (35percent.org blog, 18.3.15) – rewording ‘social rented’ as ‘affordable’ (see “Jargon Busting – That’s not what we call ‘affordable’”), after being given planning permission, in the final legal agreement. This seemingly small change has huge consequences for what rents will be charged, e.g. a 1-bed social rented flat in Bermondsey(SE16) costs an average £97 per week, compared to £273 per week for affordable rented flat at 80% market rent.
The Aylesbury planning application is due to be heard by committee on 14th April (we think – it still says “not yet decided” on the website). The Council has extended the deadline for comments and objections to Planning Application 14/AP/3843 to March 23rd, and Planning Application 14/AP/3844 to April 5th (scroll down for more info on this). We think it’s worth making comments right up until the decision date…
We do have bitter experience of long and carefully researched objections being ignored completely, by Southwark Council. We were some of the few people who engaged with the consultation events at the inception of the AAAP (Aylesbury Area Action Plan), and made in depth criticisms – see our “Resources” page
So is it worth taking the trouble to engage and object?
Well. It maybe is worth having objectors views on the record.
If there were a significant volume of objections, it might give these Councillors pause for thought. What that number might be, who knows? (They ignored the 2001 ballot after all, didn’t they)
It gives Council Officers (some of whom, maybe, are the engineers of this whole ridiculous and unjust plan from the outset) something to do.. and think about..
Anybody may object – this is a useful resource http://commentform.herokuapp.com/ -scroll down for more information on this..
Well, it’s the Chartridge Occupation, isn’t it – keep an eye out for our petition
AYLSBURY TENANTS AND LEASEHOLDERS FIRST
Southwark Council – Stop demolishing the Aylesbury Estate
KEEP COUNCIL HOUSING – KEEP COUNCIL RENTS
We are tenants and leaseholders living on the Aylesbury Estate. We support the occupiers of the flats in Chartridge. The occupiers want to keep the Aylesbury as a council estate and they oppose the demolition. We demand:
- Refurbishment not demolition- don’t destroy our council homes
- Respect the ballot held in 2001 when tenants voted overwhelmingly to remain in Council ownership
Yesterday the courts decided to make the occupiers homeless – so we’re uniting, defending against an imminent eviction. https://fightfortheaylesbury.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/family-friendly-gathering-of-resistance-at-the-aylesbury-occupation/
Don’t forget to object to the Planning Application (see below)
– there’s time to do this right up until the Council meets to make their decision
and sign the March for Homes open letter..
We’re gearing up for a big march on the last day of the month – see our events page
Missed the march? This is so much easier – please do add your name and sign this!
The PLANNING APPLICATION TO REDEVELOP THE AYLESBURY ESTATE
was published on Southwarks website at the end of 2014,
having been taken down for a month.
Although the stated deadline for residents to make comments and objections is 30.1.15., we have been advised that all comments will be taken into consideration up until the date when Southwark Council make their decision on the Planning Application – no date has been set yet. Also, although, apparently your local Councillors can not indicate their opinions and how they are likely to vote, it is worth passing on your comments and observations to them too.
Guidance on taking part in the Consultation, and some sample objections, are available here http://commentform.herokuapp.com/
The front page of the planning application can be viewed here
The supporting documents are available here
Southwarks guidelines on how to comment are here
Southwark’s case officer is Daniel Davies, and he can be reached
at 020 7525 5461
The above information applies to the Aylesbury-wide plan.
There is also a detailed plan for ‘the South-West Corner’ – LAND BOUNDED BY ALBANY ROAD, PORTLAND STREET, WESTMORELAND ROAD AND BRADENHAM CLOSE, LONDON SE17
(“between 2 and 20 storeys”)
The front page of this application can be viewed here
The supporting documents can be viewed here
There’s also useful info on this to read here
Get your first comments in asap – and you can make additional comments at any time.
Notting Hill Housing Trust now have a fine and dandy website dedicated to the regeneration of the Aylesbury – here
The first thing we looked for was some idea of what the rents might be. Here are some quotes:
“these affordable homes will be let at target rents”
“Target Rent is calculated according to a formula that relates to the market value of the property and earnings in the area. To protect residents in high value areas, the formula is capped according to the number of bedrooms. The Target Rent increases each year by a formula based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Target Rents will be exclusive of service charges.”
Repeat – target rents will be exclusive of service charges. May we remind you that on L&Q properties service charges ARE £30 A WEEK MORE EXPENSIVE THAN ON THE AYLESBURY
AND their ‘Target rents’ are £10 a week more…
Report back on a packed meeting about the future of the Aylesbury, hosted by Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations (SGTO)
Not covered by the BBC, on Saturday June 21st
including this group of housing campaigners.
The number of people in Housing Need in Southwark is currently 20,693 (as at 11/10/13), 380,301 London wide & 1.8 million nationwide.
Wolverton has now been demolished. See the 2.11.12 post below for details and discussion of the plans for L&Q’s ‘Harvard Gardens’.
Four large consortia bid to redevelop the rest of the Estate (the South West Corner has now been ‘regenerated’ by L&Q). The bid was eventually won in January 2014 by Notting Hill Housing Trust with Barratt London as developer partner and a panel of architects led by HTA Design LLP.
Part of their bid was to submit detailed plans for ‘the South West Corner’ (presently occupied by Arklow, Bradenham, Chartridge and Chiltern), and the plan is to start building here in 2016. NHHT, alongside Southwark, will be conducting a series of ‘consultation meetings’. They started in May, and there will be more in June, and again in August, and this ‘contact’ with the local community will, apparently, inform the plans for the rest of the Aylesbury. Watch this space, and here, and the NHHT website, “The Aylesbury is Changing” , for details.
The staff at their May events were unable to discuss the price range of rents and service charges. Their brief was to discuss the design. Are you going to a consultation event? Ask what the new rents will be. LET THEM KNOW YOU’RE INTERESTED IN AFFORDABILITY!
Southwark and the NHHT are proud advocates of ‘The Aylesbury Area Action Plan’. This plan is going to entail a net loss of 680 homes for social renting on the Estate’s footprint. And a near doubling of density. None of the new homes will be Council homes.
We are hearing the mantra from Southwark officers ‘We will not repeat the mistakes of the Heygate’. What does that mean? One thing is that there is strategy on the Aylesbury not to postpone dealing with tenants and leaseholders who might, for one reason or another, be ‘difficult to move’, and ‘engage’ with these residents earlier rather than later. The Council is desperate to ‘deliver vacant possession’ to the new developer.
We await with interest news of the result of the challenge over the low compensation paid to one former Aylesbury leaseholder, subject to a compulsory purchase order, who took the council to court on Tuesday May 27th
( http://35percent.org/blog May 24th). See this website for details of more action by Aylesbury Leaseholders Aylesbury Leaseholders Action Group.
One way or another, nearly all of the 636 residents from Arklow, Bradenham, Chartridge, Chiltern, 300 – 313 Missenden and 1 -59 Wolverton, tenants and leaseholders, have been rehoused by Southwark in the past two years. We didn’t think it could be done, and we wonder, in the intervening period, what the impact was on the rest of Southwark’s Housing waiting list.
Aylesbury Tenants and Leaseholders First haven’t yet got a breakdown on the figures of where residents have been rehoused, for example, how many tenants have been rehoused in Council homes within the borough, how many in Housing Associations, and how many have moved out of the borough. We wonder how many Aylesbury residents were evicted in the run up to their block being ‘evacuated’, for example, because of the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’ on being able to pay their rent. We wonder where the leaseholders have moved to. We hope to be obtaining these facts and figures shortly.
Some research on the experience of displacement here has been conducted by a team from King’s College London. Their work, in collaboration with Just Space, Southwark Notes Archive Group, professor Loretta Lees and The London Tenants Federation, has culminated in ‘Staying put: an anti-gentrification handbook’, the launch of which took place on Thursday June 12th at Queen Mary’s College.
Everyone, Council and the researchers alike, agree that the process of displacement is particularly tough for the elderly, placing them under immense physical and mental strain.
The number of people in Housing Need is currently 20,000 in Southwark, & 1.8 million nationwide.
On the Aylesbury, Southwark’s plan has changed due to the Government withdrawing the PFI. Southwark Council are now seeking one giant consortium (one or more Housing Associations and Finance institutions joined together) to redevelop the whole estate. This procurement process alone will take another two years. The rebuild that will start after that is estimated to take another 30 years. London and Quadrant meanwhile have won a bid to develop Wolverton 1-59. 147 homes will be crammed onto this plot. Where there were once 41 homes for social renting with 3 bedrooms or more (18 owned by leaseholders) L&Q’s plan is to build only 34 (altogether, including the 1 and 2 bed properties, only 49 of the new homes will be for social renting, that is 33%, slightly less that the already low 37.5% of the AAAP. The 52% TOTAL ‘affordable’ SOUNDS generous, BUT is less than the 59% that the AAAP states is necessary for Phase 1 of the scheme). The MUGA (multi-use games area) and 33 mature trees will go, new planting impaired by the presence of an underground car-park, and two new huge blocks of 8 and 10 storeys will overshadow Thurlow Street, with the top floors, and the best views, reserved for private buyers.
See our ‘Jargon busting!’ section on manipulation of the word ‘affordable’
See the Wolverton plans here
and here http://www.harvardgardens.co.uk/elevations.asp
(Note that in the first drawing the eight and ten storey buildings are not drawn to scale with the neighbouring drawings. They look about the same height as the five and three storey buildings in the next pictures. These pictures fail to give the comparative sense of just how big the big blocks are.)
The main aim behind Council Housing is to provide homes that are affordable to ordinary working people. With Privatisation (and this is increasingly true even of Housing Associations, vulnerable to the fluctuations of the housing market and pressure to comply with Tory-monetarist Government guidelines) this aim becomes sidelined by the necessity for the Landlord to maximise their profit.
Last year L&Q made a £95million surplus, and chief executive David Montague’s annual earnings rose from £208,000 to £218,000. Service charges at L&Q’s Albany Place for all residents, including those ‘social renting’, are £199 a month, making it prohibitive for many Aylesbury (Chiltern, Wolverton, Chartridge..) “Home-searchers” to think of moving there.
http://www.insidehousing.co.uk//6522641.article L&Q records £95m surplus
Breakdown of the cost of an ‘affordable’ part-rent/part buy appartment at Albany Place, Phase 1 of the new build on the Aylesbury here – http://www.lqgroup.org.uk/sales-and-rentals/our-properties/441/albany-place/ (click this link, then click ‘costings’)