Keep the community together, say local campaigners and Green Party
Aylesbury residents have been fighting plans from Labour-run Southwark Council to demolish their homes. The second public inquiry is due to complete in April. Across the Aylesbury, 2,700 council homes are to be destroyed. None will be built in their place. Previous experience of the Heygate demolition suggests council tenants will be rehoused in scattered locations across Southwark, losing their communities while rents may increase.
Aylesbury Estate homeowners are being hit with Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) which will force them out with payoffs much too low to buy any other property in the area or even in London. The UK Government previously recognised that Southwark’s plans breach the homeowners’ human rights.
Over 70% of Aylesbury residents initially said ‘no’ to this redevelopment agenda, but Southwark Council then simply ignored their own consultation. Pressure groups and local Green activists have been supporting the refurbishment option all along, which would avoid the social and environmental harm the proposed demolitions will cause. The council provided “inadequate and unbalanced” information to the first inquiry, according to independent academic witness Professor Jane Rendell. At a recent ‘Homes for All’ meeting there was a consensus on “refurbishment not demolition” for the estate.
Aylesbury resident Ignas Galvelis said: “Southwark Council’s plans will ‘cleanse’ Aylesbury homeowners out of their own communities altogether, while new housing association homes face rent hikes. Labour-run Southwark Council has failed to represent the interests of local residents, allowing the CPOs favouring developers’ interests to proceed. The Green Party stands with tenants and homeowners protecting our community. That’s why I will stand as a Green Party candidate here in the Southwark Council elections on 3rd May.”