Aylesbury; the Right to a Community
We need funds to ensure that defeat is not snatched from the jaws of an important victory for residents of council estates across the country, who face the threat of regeneration.
In September 2016 the Secretary of State made a landmark decision, to refuse Southwark Council compulsory purchase orders for the Aylesbury estate regeneration.
The decision held that Southwark Council acted in breach of the leaseholders' human rights and that it failed to fulfill its duty towards people who come from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.
The decision against Southwark has given hope to the Aylesbury leaseholders, many of whom are elderly and face being thrown from their homes and their community. It also gives hope to many others , both leaseholders and tenants - not just on the Aylesbury but on estates everywhere, who face the threat of regeneration.
Southwark Council has chosen to challenge the Secretary of State's decision in the High Court. It wants the decision overturned, so that it can continue to bully leaseholders from the estate with the threat of compulsory purchase. Southwark must be defeated and the Aylesbury leaseholders' victory secured.
The 35% campaign has fully supported the leaseholders in their battle to save their homes. We helped organise objectors to the CPO public inquiry, made our own submissions and advocated on leaseholders' behalf.
We are now appealing for funds to pay for a barrister to represent the objectors at Southwark's appeal hearing. By making a contribution you would be helping the fight against the privatisation of council estates and the displacement and destruction of local communities.
A legal opinion says that this decision could herald a new 'right to a community' for council estate residents, a right that is sorely needed. Any contribution that you can make to this fund, small or large, will help both the Aylesbury leaseholders and be a step towards making the 'right to a community' a reality.
35% Campaign - www.35percent.org
Aylesbury Leaseholders Group
Guardian: 'Government blocks plan to force out London estate residents'
BBC: 'Aylesbury estate: Government blocks compulsory purchase order'
Architects Journal: 'Aylesbury estate CPO ruling - what went wrong?'
The Guardian: 'What the Aylesbury estate ruling means for the future of regeneration'
Reuters: 'Staying put in run-down London estate, residents resist demolition'
Ashurst: 'Power to the People? - the implications of the refusal to confirm the Aylesbury estate CPO'
Herbert Smith Freehills: 'A new "Right to a Community"? Decision by the Secretary of State not to confirm the CPO for the Aylesbury estate'
Hodge, Jones & Allen: 'CPO on Aylesbury estate in Southwark blocked by Government'
The date for the judicial review hearing has been set for 9 May 2017 and the Aylesbury Leaseholders Group lodged written evidence for the hearing yesterday. The evidence has been prepared by their barrister, Chris Jacobs, of Landmark Chambers, Chris successfully represented the leaseholders at the CPO public inquiry.
In the meantime the refusal of Southwark's CPO application is still exciting concern amongst the champions of estate regeneration, International law firm Pinsent Martins feature the decision on the programme for their 'Compulsory Purchase Masterclass 2017'. The conference fee is £529(+VAT), should you wish to attend, but we're sure you'll agree that people's money is better spent supporting the Aylesbury leaseholders.
We have reached our first goal of raising £7000 to fund the leaseholder's legal fees - many thanks to all of you and for all your donations.large and small.
But there is some way to go still, before we win the fight - a full court hearing is due some time in April and we want to raise £10,000 by then, so we have raised our target. Thanks for your continuing generosity!
Southwark today succeeded in gaining permission for a judicial review of the CPO decision. Disappointing, but we are not downhearted; it's only one stage in what we knew would be a long battle.
I'll update again soon.....
The application is the latest effort by Southwark to overturn the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid's, decision and he is the main defendant. The leaseholders will be represented at the hearing by Christopher Jacobs of Landmark Chambers.
The hearing is open to the public and all supporters are welcome to attend.